Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #869 The Assassination of Olof Palme, Part 2

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This pro­gram was record­ed in one, 60-minute seg­ment

Theodore Shack­ley

Intro­duc­tion: This pro­gram con­cludes our exam­i­na­tion of an essay by the bril­liant Hen­rik Kruger, the author of The Great Hero­in Coup: Drugs, Intel­li­gence and Inter­na­tion­al Fas­cism

The infor­ma­tion pre­sent­ed in Kruger’s arti­cle sup­ple­ments analy­sis in The Great Hero­in Coup, a book we have used exten­sive­ly in the past, par­tic­u­lar­ly in the Anti-Fas­cist Archive pro­grams.

Against the back­ground of our series of inter­views with Peter Lev­en­da on the sub­ject of his book The Hitler Lega­cy, Kruger’s break­down of the Palme assas­si­na­tion serves to illus­trate some of the net­work­ing that fig­ures promi­nent­ly in dis­cus­sion of the World Anti-Com­mu­nist League, Oper­a­tion Con­dor and indi­vid­u­als and insti­tu­tions involved with the Iran-Con­tra machi­na­tions. Younger listeners/readers may not be famil­iar with these points of dis­cus­sion.

Kruger’s mag­nif­i­cent work set forth in The Great Hero­in Coup is fea­tured promi­nent­ly in many pro­grams, includ­ing AFA #‘s 415192224–2829–34.

(The arti­cle was writ­ten in 1988 and does not appear to be avail­able on the inter­net. If it were, we would pro­vide a link.)

Detail­ing some of the inves­tiga­tive ele­ments that fig­ure promi­nent­ly in the unsolved 1986 mur­der of Swedish prime min­is­ter Olof Palme, the essay sets the crime against the back­ground of what he terms the “Inter­na­tion­al Fascista” (in The Great Hero­in Coup).

(Trine­Day pub­lish­ers is sched­uled to pub­lish a new edi­tion of The Great Hero­in Coup with 75 pages of new mate­r­i­al.)

Set­ting forth indi­vid­u­als and insti­tu­tions that were known to have borne a grudge against Palme and whose behav­ior pri­or to, at the time of, and after Palme’s killing sug­gests the pos­si­bil­i­ty of involve­ment in the crime, Kruger under­scores the inter­na­tion­al “net­work­ing” that may have been involved in event.

The var­i­ous strands of the con­spir­a­to­r­i­al web set forth by Kruger com­prise a large chunk of the fas­cist net­works explored in these broad­casts, a net­work Kruger calls “The Inter­na­tion­al Fascista.” (Infor­ma­tion about WACL can be found in AFA #‘s 1415.)

Olof Palme

After detail­ing the hos­til­i­ty to Palme nursed by Latin Amer­i­can death squads linked to WACL, Oper­a­tion Con­dor, ele­ments of CIA and the milieu at the cen­ter of the Iran-Con­tra machi­na­tions, Kruger dis­sects Swedish and Scan­di­na­vian fas­cist net­works linked to oth­er focal points of the inves­ti­ga­tion.

Per­haps act­ing in con­cert with Croa­t­ian ter­ror­ist Miro Baresic (aka “Tony Sar­ic”), these Scan­di­na­vian net­works have influ­ence with­in the ranks of the Swedish intel­li­gence ser­vice, Sapo.

Some of the same inter­na­tion­al fas­cists alleged by Kruger to have par­tic­i­pat­ed in the killing of Olof Palme were also fin­gered by the late author Stieg Lars­son.

Pro­gram High­lights Include:

  • Review of the links of the Bofors muni­tions firm to the inves­ti­ga­tion into Palme’s killing.
  • Con­nec­tions between Bofors and Swedish indus­tri­al­ists who worked for the Third Reich, such as the Wal­len­berg fam­i­ly and Axel-Wen­ner Gren.
  • Links between the Swedish milieu over­lap­ping Bofors and the Bor­mann cap­i­tal net­work.
 1. The first part of the pro­gram con­sists of the con­clu­sion of the read­ing of an impor­tant arti­cle by Hen­rik Kruger, author of

“The WACL Trail: Pa Sporet Af En Morder (‘On the Trail of a Mur­der’)” by Hen­rik Kruger with Agnete Vis­tar; Press; #37 12/1988; pp. 42–52.

Intro­duc­tion

In the mid­dle of Novem­ber, a group of police agents trav­eled to West Ger­many. Their task was clear. They would inves­ti­gate a new trail in the inves­ti­ga­tion of the Palme death. This trail came from a tip that orig­i­nal­ly came from the Swedish Prime Minister’s wid­ow, Lis­beth Palme.

The police inves­ti­ga­tion in West Ger­many is, among oth­er things, relat­ed to mat­ters sur­round­ing Miro Baresic. He is a Croa­t­ian ter­ror­ist who had ear­li­er been in Swedish prison sen­tenced for the mur­der of the Yugosla­vian ambas­sador to Swe­den.

What the inquiry was search­ing for exact­ly is not known, how­ev­er, the trip marked a new phase in the solu­tion of the mur­der. Per­haps, the Swedish police had at last got­ten a hold on the larg­er icture.

Miro Baresic is an extreme­ly inter­est­ing per­son for sev­er­al rea­sons, includ­ing his close ties to an inter­na­tion­al net­work. This net­work was com­posed of per­sons who hat­ed Olof Palme with a pas­sion.

This net­work is focused around the WACL orga­ni­za­tion. WACL stands for World anti-Com­mu­nist League. It attracts per­sons with one thing in com­mon: they hate com­mu­nists and all who have only a hint of left­ist ori­en­ta­tion.

The net­work is com­posed of politi­cians, covert oper­a­tors, financiers and ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions with con­nec­tions through­out the world. They have been involved in wars from South-East Asia to Latin Amer­i­ca and in scan­dals such as Iran/Contra. They have com­mit­ted count­less mur­ders.

At least once, per­sons with close ties to WACL con­demned Olof Palme to death. That time, in 1976, the plans came to naught as there were, appar­ent­ly, too many prac­ti­cal prob­lems.

This net­work oper­ates in a fash­ion that makes it very dif­fi­cult to iden­ti­fy the pow­er and men behind the actions. The Swedish police have on three occa­sions inves­ti­gat­ed per­sons in con­nec­tion with the Palme mur­der with­out dis­cov­er­ing that all had close ties to this net­work.

Only a few jour­nal­ists have been able to pen­e­trate into WACL and its net­work. Among those few is Dan­ish author and jour­nal­ist, Hen­rik Kruger, who for over five years has dili­gent­ly devot­ed him­self to inves­ti­ga­tion of these anti-com­mu­nists.

Through the years, he has pub­lished his exten­sive research arti­cles in a vari­ety of for­eign jour­nals, includ­ing Covert Action Infor­ma­tion Bul­letin and Swedish Kvall­sposten.

In this arti­cle, Hen­rik Kruger presents part of his exten­sive knowl­edge for Press read­ers. Here is an expli­ca­tion of some amaz­ing­ly com­plex and aston­ish­ing mate­r­i­al. This arti­cle came into exis­tance joint­ly with Press read­ers. This arti­cle came into exis­tance joint­ly with Press jour­nal­ist Agnete Vis­tar. It gives excep­tion­al insight into a world so bru­tal, that it makes the Ram­bo uni­verse of Sylvester Stal­lone seem quite tame.

Here, no meth­ods are too cyn­i­cal nor self-serv­ing, no meth­ods too bru­tal nor nasty in this net­work’s efforts to rid the entire plan­et of what they see as com­mu­nists and oth­er devi­ates.

Wel­come to WACL coun­try!

In 1976, when Olof Palme par­tic­i­pat­ed in the inter­na­tion­al social­ist con­gress in Madrid, he was the gath­er­ing’s best pro­tect­ed per­son­al Pri­or to his trav­el­ling to Madrid, the head of the Swedish Social Democ­rats had been cau­tioned tht Palme was on the top of a Latin Amer­i­can death­squad’s hitlist. The leader of that group was the Chilean, Michael Town­ley.

Town­ley and his group, by this time, had a lega­cy of blood on their hands from a long series of assas­si­na­tions. Town­ley had worked for the CIA’s Oper­a­tion Track II, a cam­paign of sab­o­tage and ter­ror that result­ed in Chile’s social­ist leader, Sal­vador Allen­de’s over­throw and Pinochet’s takeover of pow­er in Chile. After, Town­ley began to fig­ure into the ranks of the Chilean intel­li­gence ser­vice. There he led death patrols which mur­dered many promi­nent exiles in Latin Amer­i­ca, Europe and the Unit­ed States. The most famous of these mur­ders was car­ried out in the open street of Wash­ing­ton D.C. There, Chile’s for­mer For­eign Min­is­ter and Ambas­sador to the Unit­ed states, Orlan­do Lete­lier, was slain by a bomb placed in his car. Town­ley had under­tak­en the plan­ning for that mur­der togeth­er with CIA trained Cuban exiles.

All this came out dur­ing the 1978 tri­al of Lete­lier’s assas­sins, in which Town­ley was a prime wit­ness. From this tri­al it was fur­ther revealed that Town­ley lit­er­al­ly had a death­list that had Palme’s name at its top. At the same time, Palme him­self received a report that informed him that Town­ley, as a Chilean intel­li­gence agent, had been in Stock­holm in 1976 to plan an assas­si­na­tion attempt against him. It fur­ther stat­ed that Town­ley had also been in Madrid dur­ing the social­ist con­gress, togeth­er with the Ital­ian ter­ror­ist Stephano delle Chi­aie. Because of the keen watch over Palme, Town­ley and delle Chi­aie were not suc­cess­ful car­ry­ing out their assas­si­na­tion plans.

Ten years after these assas­si­na­tion plans of Town­ley’s, Palme was mur­dered in Stock­holm. Imme­di­ate­ly after the mur­der, Swedish police inves­ti­gat­ed whether it could have been Chile’s intel­li­gence ser­vice putting their old threat to mur­der the Swedish Prime Min­is­ter into effect. Two agents were sent to the U.S. to inter­ro­gate Town­ley. Today, the for­mer mur­der­er lives under false iden­ti­ty in a secret loca­tion in the Unit­ed States. The police agents were able to get his new name and address from the FBI. (1) In return for their ques­tions, they got noth­ing out of Town­ley. He is a man who lives in per­pet­u­al dread of being liq­ui­dat­ed by the cir­cles he for­mer­ly col­lab­o­rat­ed with when he was a hit-man. By the time of the inter­view, he had been out of cir­cu­la­tion for eight years.  Town­ley was only able to speak about what he did dur­ing that ear­li­er peri­od, so the inquiry led to nought. The Swedish inves­ti­ga­tors there­fore con­clud­ed that the Chileans could­n’t have been behind the mur­der of Palme.

Death Patrols

The Swedes trav­elled home with­out accom­plish­ing any­thing, and soon the plice in Swe­den start­ed along a com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent trail: that the assas­si­na­tion must have been the work of a lone Kur­dish nut. This new trail, they will lat­er see, had dis­ap­peared in the sand.

Back in his secret loca­tion in the U.S., Michael Town­ley must have been sur­prised at the Swedish police’s basic lack of insight. They were appar­ent­ly not aware of the fact that he had not worked exclu­sive­ly and only for the Chilean intel­li­gence serice. Clos­er inves­ti­ga­tion per­haps would have led to the police on a dif­fer­ent and more inter­est­ing trail.

The Swedes would have dis­cov­ered that Town­ley was active in, and had worked for, an orga­ni­za­tion named Con­dor, with threads lead­ing back to a world­wide nework of fanat­i­cal anti-com­mu­nists. (2)

Con­dor was an orga­ni­za­tion for car­ry­ing out assas­si­na­tions. The Banz­er plan (named after the Boli­vian dic­ta­tor of the same name) was an espe­cial­ly fright­en­ing and longterm oper­a­tion of Con­dor’s. It con­sist­ed of the arrest, tor­ture and mur­der of those nuns, priests and bish­ops dis­play­ing a social and polit­i­cal con­science with­in the Latin Amer­i­can coun­tries with dic­ta­tor­ships. The Banz­er plan which was orig­i­nal­ly agreed upon in 1975, has its off­shoots into the 1980’s. Death­squads of the extreme right have liq­ui­dat­ed nuns and priests by the scores. The deaths of four Amer­i­can nuns in El Sal­vador awak­ened great inter­na­tion­al notice, but it was the assas­si­na­tion of El Sal­ado­ri­an Arch­bish­op Oscar Romero in 1980, that caused the great­est furor. The mur­der was con­demned world-wide.

Who, though, real­ly stood behind Con­dor? Today it is known that Oper­a­tion Con­dor was to a large extent sup­port­ed and financed by noth­ing less than the CIA. It was dis­closed in 1974 by an Amer­i­can Sen­ate com­mit­tee, that CIA agents in Latin Amer­i­ca had func­tioned as tor­ture instruc­tors. The CIA’s chief for its Latin Amer­i­can branch was, at this time, Theodore Shack­ley. He is a per­son we are going to meet many, many times again in this arti­cle. This dis­clo­sure about the tor­ture instruc­tion gave rise to a pub­lic scan­dal and 64 agents were sent back to the Unit­ed States. (3)

The financ­ing of Con­dor shows a great deal of the orga­ni­za­tion’s inter­na­tion­al char­ac­ter and pro­por­tions. The agents in Con­dor were sup­port­ed eco­nom­i­cal­ly by WFC (World Finance Cor­po­ra­tion), the gigan­tic bank­ing sys­tem that was set-up in Mia­mi by Cuban exiles. The mon­ey in the bank stemmed, prin­ci­pal­ly, from the sale of nar­cotics. At WFC, it was laun­dered and then chan­neled to the death squads and the Cuban exile ter­ror­ist groups which assist­ed Con­dor per­son­nel in a long suc­ces­sion of Latin Amer­i­can ter­ror­ist actions dur­ing the 1970’s. More on this lat­er.

Com­mon to near­ly all of these ter­ror­ists, were their con­nec­tions to WACL, the world­wide orga­ni­za­tion of anti-com­mu­nists. It was at the 1975 gath­er­ing of WACL’s Latin Amer­i­can sec­tion in Rio de Janeiro that the plan to mur­der the social­ly aware and lib­er­a­tion the­ol­o­gy inclined priests, nuns and bish­ops was agreed upon. The lead­ers of Oper­a­tion Con­dor were prac­ti­cal­ly all WACL mem­bers from those coun­tries in Latin Amer­i­ca with dic­ta­to­r­i­al regimes.

It was with­in this WACL com­plex that assas­sin Michael Town­ley func­tioned. This was the labyrinth which the Swedish police appar­ent­ly did­n’t know about when they were in the U.S. inter­ro­gat­ing him. It was not only Chilean, but WACL peo­ple that were behind the plan in 1976 to mur­der Palme. They hat­ed Palme for his involve­ment in human rights strug­gles and for his sup­port of oppressed peo­ple’s bat­tles for jus­tice.

It is next to impos­si­ble to know WACL’s true dimen­sions. Under a respectable exte­ri­or is con­cealed a net­work of dan­ger­ous under­cur­rents reach­ing over the entire plan­et. Com­mon to all sup­port­ers is a vio­lent hatred of all com­mu­nists.

WACL is a world­wide net­work of ultra-right­ist com­mu­nist haters: an umbrel­la orga­ni­za­tion which func­tions as the con­tact point for the far right groups respon­si­ble for much of the fas­cist ter­ror around the world. Both the Swedish press and pri­vate researchers have spo­ken of a right-wing extrem­ist con­spir­a­cy and WACL con­nec­tions to the Palme mur­der. It has prob­a­bly not result­ed in more than just talk because few real­ly knew any­thing about WACL and because of its dis­persed and unwieldy nature and struc­ture. Instead, the press has con­cen­trat­ed on WACL’s vis­i­ble sur­face lay­er, and not on those treach­er­ous under­cur­rents.

WACL’s offi­cial facade is the Gen­er­al Sec­re­tari­at of the right-wing Moon reli­gious move­men­t’s build­ing in Soeul, South Korea. WACL holds year­ly offi­cial con­gress­es and out­ward­ly looks like a ‘nice’ orga­ni­za­tion. (These con­gress­es were even vis­it­ed by Dan­ish politi­cians such as Mogens Glistrup, Pia Kjears­gard and con­ser­v­a­tive Hous­ing Min­is­ter Agnete Laust­sen.) But an attempt to under­stand WACL as an acronym for an ordi­nary orga­ni­za­tion is a mis­take. (Our Scan­di­na­vian cul­tur­al her­itage and idels con­tain lit­tle to help under­stand what is con­cealed behind the four let­ters.) The pat­tern is not so sim­ple.

It is impor­tant to point out that the orga­ni­za­tion is NOT gigan­tic, nor is it a cen­tral­ly run con­spir­a­cy where the big deci­sions are made from above and each mem­ber is respon­si­ble for actions assigned to them. WACL, rather, is a net­work, a wide­ly branched cat­a­lyst for pow­ers of the extreme right. This forum reach­es into every pos­si­ble aspect of a soci­ety. Drawn to it are busi­ness­men, covert oper­a­tives, ultra-con­ser­v­a­tive politi­cians mem­bers of par­lia­ments, pub­lic office hold­ers, gen­er­als, offi­cers, exe­cu­tion­ers and var­i­ous ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions and their sym­pa­thiz­ers and run-of-the-mill pinkos. The over­rid­ing fac­tor is to com­bat all who car­ry even the scent of social­ism.

With­in WACL’s frame­work these right-wing can­cers come into con­tact with one anoth­er and main­tain that close asso­ci­a­tion. Through the WACL net­work, one can find the tools, part­ners and exper­tise in and eco­nom­ic sup­port for polit­i­cal repres­sion, pro­pa­gan­da, manip­u­la­tion, weapons, tor­ture, ter­ror­ism and assas­si­na­tion.

If one is interesed in mur­der cam­paigns, one can draw on the WACL net­work any­where in the world. In the last twen­ty years the name of WACL has, in fact, emerged in con­nec­tion with count­less crim­i­nal activ­i­ties. Among the most hor­ri­fy­ing activ­i­ties with which WACL was asso­ci­at­ed, were the death­squads which have wrought dev­as­ta­tion in Guatemala. Over 25,000 lives had been ter­mi­nat­ed with­in only four years in the ear­ly 1970’s. The death squadron’s lead­ers were mem­bers of CAL, WACL’s Latin Amer­i­can branch. Among oth­er vic­tims were the 72  per­sons killed when a civil­ian Cuban air­lin­er explod­ed over Bar­ba­dos in 1975. An entire Cuban sports team per­ished in that flight. Behind that ter­ror­ist deed was an orga­ni­za­tion which includ­ed mem­bers of the WACL Cuban exle group, Alpha-66. That is mere­ly a selec­tion of two exam­ples, but there are many, many more.

An Old Hatred for Palme

It does seem incred­i­ble that the pub­lic at large do not know more of an orga­ni­za­tion of this bru­tal­i­ty and extent, but, it fits with the meth­ods the WACL orga­ni­za­tion oper­ates by. One can find no firm com­mand chan­nels when an action is to be tak­en. The plan­ning is not car­ried out by any sin­gle group, but through a labyrinthine cell-sys­tem. It allows infor­ma­tion on a giv­en mur­der con­tract to flow through dif­fer­ent chan­nels until they arrive at the req­ui­site action groups.

These action groups, often with­out know­ing of each oth­er, then arrange the escape routes and assist with weapons, false pass­ports and assas­sins. Simul­ta­ne­ous­ly, oth­ers arrange dis­in­for­ma­tion cam­paigns which can be put into effect if, and when, nec­es­sary. The recur­ring pat­tern is that the men behind the scenes draw upon the local group in the coun­try where the mur­der will take place., there­by reduc­ing the risk of the mur­der plot being traced back to the orig­i­na­tors of the hit, lurk­ing else­where in the shad­ows. (5)

There is noth­ing that pre­vents the WACL net­work, despite its far right con­vic­tions, from mak­ing con­tact with left­ist ori­ent­ed groups hav­ing the cor­rect reli­gious or nation­al­is­tic aims. Reli­gion and nation­al­ism are often more impor­tant for these groups than their place­ment along the polit­i­cal spec­trum. Thus, they can be manip­u­lat­ed by the promise of weapons in exchange for assas­si­na­tions.

Nowhere did abhor­rence for Palme thrive quite so strong­ly as among WACL mem­bers. It was an old hatred, stem­ming from Viet­nam War days. It increased with Palme’s sup­port for both Cuba and Chile under Allende and lat­er his sup­port of the San­din­istas in Nicaragua. This hatred was held with a pas­sion.

In the last year, it has come out that per­sons with con­nec­tions to WACL prob­a­bly had, in the months lead­ing up to Palme’s death, even more with which to feed their hate.

Today, many things point toward a host of pow­er­ful per­sons with long­time WACL con­nec­tions hav­ing been involved in Bofors’ exten­sive weapons smug­gling to Iran. When Palme, a short time before his death, con­sid­ered stop­ping these Bofors deal­ings with Iran, these peo­ple pre­sum­ably then had an obvi­ous eco­nom­ic and ide­o­log­i­cal motive to stop him. And, in such an instance, as so often before, they would avail them­selves of WACL.

In this con­nec­tion, one fact is very impor­tant: the peo­ple that were involved in the Iran­ian weapons deals, had ear­li­er had con­nec­tions to Con­dor. In 1976, the Con­dor orga­ni­za­tion had con­demned Palme to death. One of the men involved and the most cen­tral, is named Theodore Shack­ley.

Shack­ley was the leader behind some of the CIA’s largest and most bloody actions of the 1960’s and ’70’s. He, togeth­er with close col­lab­o­ra­tors, was respon­si­ble for the cam­paigns of death in Laos, Viet­nam and South Amer­i­ca. They are sworn WACL sup­port­ers. Yet, today hav­ing offi­cial­ly left the CIA, his pow­ers are stronger than ever. He was, with his team, behind the Iran/Contra Scan­dal, for one exam­ple.

Shack­ley is a com­plete­ly unique per­son, with a pow­er that seems almost incom­pre­hen­si­ble. He is the man that stood behind a long suc­ces­sion of the CIA’s most bloody and ille­gal oper­a­tions begin­ning in the ear­ly 1960’s. Dur­ing a light­ning twen­ty-five year career in the CIA, he made him­self a leg­endary rep­u­ta­tion. Shack­ley came to be called the “Blond Ghost” because of the secre­tive­ness sur­round­ing him. Shack­ley’s con­tri­bu­tions to the efforts of the Cen­tral Intel­li­gence Agency have been so great that they have even been des­ig­nat­ed as a kind of “invis­i­ble gov­ern­ment.” Of course, he has not oper­at­ed entire­ly on his own ini­tia­tive. There is a basis to his pow­er. A polit­i­cal and eco­nom­ic ‘shad­ow land’ with appar­ent­ly enor­mous pow­ers has had a use for him. Who they are, pre­cise­ly, can not be known, but Shack­ley is a per­son with enor­mous skills and an unchal­lenged orga­ni­za­tion­al capa­bil­i­ty. It is said, that among oth­er things he’s done, he car­ried out those for­eign poli­cies that the “offi­cial” Amer­i­can gov­ern­ment did not want to be seen as hav­ing con­nec­tions to.

All who have worked under Shack­ley in the CIA have said they were afraid of him. Some were so fear­ful, that they tried to have as lit­tle to do with him as pos­si­ble. Oth­ers, have had a near­ly fanat­ic sense of loy­al­ty to him . . . . also based on fear. He is described as arro­gant and as hav­ing a com­plete lack of scru­ples in his war against com­mu­nism. The enor­mous toll in lives his oper­a­tions have tak­en have earned him the addi­tion­al nick­name of “The Butch­er.”

In 1961, at only thir­ty-six, Shack­ley was already the CIA’s sta­tion chief in Mia­mi. The Mia­mi sta­tion was the most impor­tant and largest sta­tion out­side of the Lan­g­ley, Vir­ginia head­quar­ters. His clos­est col­leagues were agents Thomas Clines and David Atlee Phillips, who would remain his loy­al assis­tants through­out the years. To car­ry out his ter­ror­ist actions, he recruit­ed Cuban exiles from Mafia boss San­to Traf­fi­can­te’s nar­cotics orga­ni­za­tion. Traf­fi­cante sup­plied both per­son­nel and exper­tise for Oper­a­tion Mon­goose, the CIA’s secret war against Cas­tro and Cuba in the ear­ly 1960’s. He also took part, per­son­al­ly, in the plan­ning of the CIA’s assas­si­na­tion attempts against Cas­tro.

Traf­fi­cante was the USA’s largest nar­cotics importer and it was he who sup­pos­ed­ly gave Shack­ley the idea of financ­ing the most sen­si­tive oper­a­tions with nar­cotics prof­its, some­thing that would soon become Shack­ley’s spe­cial­ty. Lat­er, when Shack­ley was trans­ferred to Laos, he allied him­self with the hero­in gen­er­al Vang Pao and the war­riors of Vang Pao’s Meo tribes. The link to the CIA’s infa­mous war in Laos was a death cam­paign in which tens of thou­sands of men, women and chil­dren were killed by the Meo sol­diers along with Amer­i­can Green Berets from the Spe­cial Oper­a­tions Group, under the lead­er­ship of Gen­er­al John Singlaub. Under Singlaub there worked a young lieu­tenant, Oliv­er North, and also an Air Force lieu­tenant major, Richard Sec­ord. All three would become lead­ing fig­ures in the Iran/Contra affair twen­ty years lat­er. Singlaub was, at that gen­er­al peri­od of time, world direc­tor of WACL.

The cam­paign of death in Laos was con­trolled by Shack­ley. Shack­ley, North, Sec­ord and the oth­ers who worked togeth­er there have come to be known as the “Secret Team.” [This term derived from a book by Colonel L. Fletch­er Prouty and was adopt­ed by the Chris­tic Insti­tute in their ill-fat­ed RICO suit against some of the prin­ci­pals in the Iran-Con­tra affair.–D.E.] After a while, Shack­ley became the CIA’s chief of sta­tion in Viet­nam. He was lat­er called home in 1972 by his supe­ri­ors to steer the CIA’s secret oper­a­tions in Latin Amer­i­ca. He con­tin­ued his incred­i­ble career and became the chief of Oper­a­tion Track II. Track II was a cam­paign of sab­o­tage and ter­ror that led to Allen­de’s over­throw in Chile and Pinochet’s takeover of pow­er. That was the “starter’s gun,” the begin­ning of the CIA’s con­trol of, and engage­ment in, death and ter­ror cam­paigns through­out South Amer­i­ca. Shack­ley arranged for the train­ing of Cuban exiles in ter­ror­ism, who then trav­eled around assist­ing death patrols in tor­ture and mur­der. Both the death squads and the anti-Cas­tro Cuban exiles had con­nec­tions to WACL. Then some began to won­der when Asians began to appear among the death patrols. It soon became appar­ent that these were some of the Meo war­riors Shack­ley had trained in Laos.

Shad­ow Man­age­ment

Nat­u­ral­ly, the financ­ing of that exten­sive project did not come from the offi­cial CIA.  Sev­er­al of Shackley’s Cuban exiles estab­lished a huge bank­ing sys­tem – World Finance Cor­po­ra­tion – in Mia­mi where Mafia boss Trafficante’s mon­ey was laun­dered and then chan­neled into Con­dor and the Cuban exile’s ter­ror groups, such as Alpha-66, Omega‑7 and CORU.  The bank­ing sys­tem was exposed and forced to close its doors after a police inves­ti­ga­tion in the begin­ning of 1979.  The police­man who head­ed the inquiry was stopped by the CIA, but before he was muz­zled, he was able to tell the press that not less than twen­ty-eight CIA agents had worked in the bank.

The Secret Team had also oper­at­ed anoth­er bank, the Nugan-Hand Bank in Aus­tralia, with over forty affil­i­ates around the world.  The bank was prin­ci­pal­ly used for weapons and nar­cotics trans­ac­tions.  The names of the com­pa­nies which had done busi­ness via the bank came out in 1982 when a large Aus­tralian gov­ern­ment report dis­closed infor­ma­tion about the bank.  One of these firms was Bofors, the Swedish weapons man­u­fac­tur­er.  That was the first time that Bofors’ name had been con­nect­ed with the Shack­ley crowd.9

By the mid-1970’s Shack­ley had been made deputy chief of covert oper­a­tions world­wide in the CIA. Lat­er, all of his staff was fired by the new CIA direc­tor, Stans­field Turn­er. Eight hun­dred men were offi­cial­ly tossed out of the Cen­tral Intel­li­gence Agency.  In 1977 Turn­er had been appoint­ed by the new Pres­i­dent, Jim­my Carter, in place of the ear­li­er direc­tor, George Bush.  Jim­my Carter had not cared for Shackley’s meth­ods.  He was par­tic­u­lar­ly indig­nant over a scan­dal which had worked its way into the Amer­i­can mass media by that time.  It had been dis­closed that two of Shackley’s com­pa­tri­ots had trained ter­ror­ists in Libya.  That was soon to be a bit of a let­down for Shack­ley, who’s star, oth­er­wise, shone bright­ly.  He had specif­i­cal­ly been promised the post of Direc­tor of the Cen­tral Intel­li­gence Agency, if Ford had won the pres­i­den­cy.

But Shack­ley, appar­ent­ly, was too indis­pen­si­ble and pow­er­ful to just be fired in any ordi­nary man­ner.  He had pro­ceed­ed out­side of the Agency in such a man­ner, that today, it is very dif­fi­cult to tell what is his ‘Secret team’ and what is offi­cial CIA.  Appar­ent­ly, they couldn’t man­age with­out an entire division’s expe­ri­ence and exper­tise.  Shack­ley and his team were now more active behind the scenes than they had been at any time before.

Shackley’s close asso­ciate, David Atlee Phillips head­ed the Asso­ci­a­tion of For­mer Intel­li­gence Offi­cers (AFIO), which came to func­tion in some cas­es as an intel­li­gence ser­vice for WACL.  One of the two from Shackley’s corps that trained ter­ror­ists in Libya was the cur­rent fugi­tive, Frank Ter­pil.  He once said to an Amer­i­can jour­nal­ist:  “It is in real­i­ty the ass­holes from AFIO that run the CIA from the out­side, as a shad­ow lead­er­ship: Ted Shack­ley, Phillips, Angle­ton, Conein…”

Shack­ley had (and has), well in order, his world of ‘behind the scenes’ polit­i­cal oper­a­tions.  The most impor­tant sup­port group is the Amer­i­can Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil.  It rep­re­sents the Unit­ed States’ mil­i­tary-indus­tri­al-com­plex and con­sti­tutes the major por­tion of the USA’s rep­re­sen­ta­tion in WACL.

Shackley’s group finances its oper­a­tions with weapons and nar­cotics smug­gling.  Simul­ta­ne­ous with those oper­a­tions, his oper­a­tives strug­gle in their sav­age war against left­ist forces of the entire face of the earth.  Slow­ly, but sure­ly, they have built up an amaz­ing shad­ow-land eco­nom­ic base, which resem­bles a mul­ti-nation­al cor­po­ra­tion.

The net­work through which these oper­a­tions take place is called ‘The Enter­prise’.  The lead fig­ures, in addi­tion to Shack­ley him­self, are Thomas Clines, Richard Sec­ord and Albert Hakim.  These names also come from the top of the lists of Iran/Contra Hearing’s wit­ness­es.  The Enter­prise has a pletho­ra of small com­pa­nies.  Some, Shack­ley owns on paper; oth­ers list him as a con­sul­tant or as an offi­cer on the board of direc­tors.

In fact, it was Shackley’s team that start­ed the entire Iran­gate scan­dal.  Among the many places in which this has been estab­lished is in the Tow­er Report.  Shack­ley has con­ced­ed that it was he who met with the Iran­ian weapons and nar­cotics deal­er, Ghor­ban­i­far, in Ham­burg.  Also, that it was he who brought the Iran­ian pro­pos­al on an exchange of hostages for weapons to Wash­ing­ton.  The Enter­prise was con­nect­ed to the weapons deals that came out of this, in fact.  Part of the mon­ey from Iran wound up going to the Nicaraguan Con­tras.  Anoth­er por­tion drift­ed direct­ly into the pock­ets of Enter­prise per­son­nel, and a por­tion has van­ished into the blue alto­geth­er.  One can only guess as to what has become of it.

The real dra­ma in the Iran/Contra scan­dal did not come out in the Wash­ing­ton hear­ings, which were trans­mit­ted to the world’s tele­vi­sion screens.  In the hear­ings, only a lit­tle was unveiled.  Flori­da was the ‘hap­pen­ing’ place, even though this was in rel­a­tive pub­lic silence.  A huge law­suit was being pre­pared in Flori­da involv­ing large scale cocaine smug­gling in con­nec­tion with Iran/Contra.  This, of course, involved the Shack­ley peo­ple.  The legal case was left to drift and then was stopped by Edward Meese, Reagan’s Attor­ney Gen­er­al.  How­ev­er, a Sen­ate inves­ti­ga­tion con­tin­ued.  Simul­ta­ne­ous­ly, there arose a civ­il suit against the same Shack­ley crowd and the ear­li­er WACL chief, John Singlaub, for the bomb­ing and assas­si­na­tion attempt on for­mer Con­tra leader Eden Pas­to­ra.  Sev­en peo­ple were killed in the bomb­ing, includ­ing four jour­nal­ists.10   

One of the main wit­ness­es in the two cas­es was Gene Wheaton, a for­mer high lev­el U.S. mil­i­tary intel­li­gence offi­cer.  He was sta­tioned at an impor­tant post in Iran dur­ing the late 1970’s.

He, togeth­er with two col­leagues, just hap­pened across the ille­gal trans­ac­tions of Shackley’s bunch in the Mid­dle East and then pre­pared a report on these activ­i­ties.  When Wheaton’s two col­leagues were on their way to Wash­ing­ton with the report, they were very con­ve­nient­ly mur­dered, and the report van­ished.  Since the mur­ders, Wheaton has used his spare time to seek addi­tion­al evi­dence against the Enter­pris­ers.

The pri­ma­ry author of this arti­cle talked with Wheaton in his Los Ange­les home in March of 1987, before he tes­ti­fied as a wit­ness.  At that time, Wheaton had a list con­tain­ing sev­en­teen names, which he was cer­tain, rep­re­sent­ed per­sons mur­dered by the Enter­prise group through­out the years.  Among those list­ed was a for­mer CIA agent, Kevin Mulc­ahy.  Mulc­ahy died the day before he would have giv­en tes­ti­mo­ny in the law­suit against World Finance Cor­po­ra­tion, the nar­co-bank­ing sys­tem.  WFC laun­dered nar­cotics mon­ey and then trans­ferred it to Shackley’s Cuban exile ter­ror­ists around Latin Amer­i­ca.  Mulc­ahy was found in a Mary­land woods, not far from where the motel where he was secret­ly wait­ing for the tri­al.  His body was found with his pants down around his ankles.

“I am myself as right-wing as the peo­ple in Shackley’s team”, said Wheaton.  “I can accept much of what they do.  But not the mur­der of col­leagues.”

Gene Wheaton’s life has been threat­ened by the Shack­ley squad.  He has respond­ed by shar­ing his infor­ma­tion with as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble.  In this man­ner he hopes to dimin­ish the like­li­hood of his becom­ing a tar­get for assas­si­na­tion.

Since the inter­view, Wheaton has addi­tion­al­ly sworn out depo­si­tions stat­ing that Shack­ley has a covert firm locat­ed on Andros Island in the Bahamas.  This ‘firm’ trains assas­sins.

Wheaton’s list of 17 mur­dered peo­ple appears not to have been com­plete.   Dur­ing pre­lim­i­nary inves­ti­ga­tions for the Mia­mi tri­al alone, four new wit­ness­es died.  The smug­gler and pilot, Bar­ry Seal, was shot down.  A sim­i­lar thing hap­pened to the world famous speed­boat builder, Don Arnow.  They both had had close con­nec­tions with cocaine smug­gler George Morales.  Anoth­er chief wit­ness, Steven Carr, was found dead of a drug over­dose and so on and so forth……

These wit­ness­es could have been dan­ger­ous to Shackley’s group.  For exam­ple, they could have sub­stan­ti­at­ed the accu­sa­tions about nar­cotics.  They could have ver­i­fied that the very air­planes that flew weapons from Flori­da to the Con­tras in Cos­ta Rica and Hon­duras returned with cocaine.  Accord­ing to the arrest­ed smug­glers, it was some of Shackley’s Cuban-exile weapons trans­porters that head­ed weapons smug­gling to the Con­tras.

Con­nec­tions to Bofors

Today it is still too ear­ly to say if it was in fact Olof Palme’s attempts to stop fur­ther smug­gling of weapons which cost him his life, in much the same man­ner as the four Mia­mi tri­al wit­ness­es.  Palme had tried to stop Bofors’s exten­sive weapons trans­fers to Iran.

There is much, how­ev­er, that indi­cates that a close con­nec­tion between Bofors and the Enter­prise play­ers exist­ed:

-As was men­tioned before, Bofors had done busi­ness via the ille­gal Aus­tralian Nugan-Hand Bank. A bank that by 1977 chiefly dealt in weapons and nar­cotics mon­ey.  The bank was man­aged by Enter­prise per­son­nel.

-The Dan­ish ship, Erria, which smug­gled Bofors’ weapons to both Iran and the Con­tras, was owned by Dolmy Busi­ness Inc.  Behind Dolmy stood two from with­in the Enter­prise, Richard Sec­ord and Albert Hakim.

-Bofors trans­ferred 188 mil­lion kro­ner (about $30 mil­lion) to the Pana­man­ian com­pa­ny, Sven­s­ka Incor­po­rat­ed.  The leader of this firm was the noto­ri­ous drug and weapons smug­gler, Steven Samos.  He was a close busi­ness part­ner of the the peo­ple in the Enter­prise and deeply involved in the Con­tra­gate Scan­dal.  Part of the mon­ey is known to have, almost cer­tain­ly, been employed for bribes in con­nec­tion with Bofors’ mul­ti-mil­lion dol­lar deals with India.  Steve Samos also led anoth­er com­pa­ny, Inter­na­tion­al Man­age­ment & Trust Corp.11   This was a ‘cov­er’ firm, which did not func­tion.  Instead, its employ­ees worked in Amal­ga­mat­ed Com­mer­cial Enter­pris­es.  A por­tion of the Enterprise’s sup­port to the Con­tras went through Amal­ga­mat­ed Com­mer­cial Enter­pris­es.

-The Bofors weapons which Iran had bought through Swedish weapons deal­er Karl-Erik Smitz were often trans­port­ed on the planes of St. Lucia Air­ways, which was oper­at­ed Enter­prise folks and direct­ed with help from Oliv­er North.

If the Enter­prise ben­e­fit­ed finan­cial­ly from the Bofors deliv­er­ies, and if Olaf Palme attempt­ed to stop these deliv­er­ies of weapons and thus the mon­ey stream from Bofors, then would have Shack­ley and his men (and also Iran’s Aya­tol­lah Khome­i­ni) had quite a motive to mur­der the Swedish Prime Min­is­ter.  In such a case, they would prob­a­bly have used the WACL net­work, as they had so often before.  They would have had a ‘here-and-now’ need to remove him.  They are so skill­ful at such things, that they could have arranged it quick­ly.

*When Olof Palme was mur­dered, there sat in a Swedish prison, a man with an inti­mate knowl­edge of Con­dor and WACL.  His orga­ni­za­tion had pre­vi­ous­ly threat­ened to mur­der the entire Palme fam­i­ly.  Despite that, the Swedish police are only now begin­ning to become inter­est­ed in Miro Baresic.  This inter­est comes over one year after Baresic had been released and had board­ed a flight to Paraguay.*

When Palme was mur­dered, an inter­na­tion­al ter­ror­ist and mur­der­er com­plete with an enour­mous knowl­edge of Con­dor and WACL was right in Swe­den.

Ten years ear­li­er, when a death­list, com­plete with Palme’s name its top, cir­cu­lat­ed among the Con­dor crowd in Latin Amer­i­ca, this man found him­self high up in the Con­dor hier­ar­chy.  His name is Miro Baresic.  His sto­ry is noth­ing short of fan­tas­tic.

Baresic is an extreme right-wing Croa­t­ian who is con­nect­ed to the WACL orga­ni­za­tion through ABN (Anti-Bol­she­vic Bloc of Nations). ABN is an orga­ni­za­tion that col­lab­o­rat­ed with the Nazis dur­ing the Sec­ond World War.

On the 7th of April 1971, in Stock­holm, Baresic togeth­er with anoth­er Croa­t­ian, tor­tured and then mur­dered the Yugosla­vian ambas­sador to Swe­den.  On this first time around, Baresic didn’t suc­ceed in escap­ing Swedish author­i­ties.  He was arrest­ed, but before the tri­al, the murderer’s com­rades threat­ened to mur­der Palme, his wife Lis­bet and their three chil­dren, if the mur­der­ers’ sen­tences are greater than five years in prison.  The threats were tak­en very seri­ous­ly.  When Palme spoke to the May Day ral­ly in Nor­rkop­ing, Swe­den, he was sur­round­ed by a ver­i­ta­ble army of secu­ri­ty peo­ple.

The two Croa­t­ians were sen­tenced to life impris­on­ment.  Fol­low­ing that they man­aged to escape from Kum­la Prison, but were caught and jailed again.  Then in Sep­tem­ber 1972 their com­rades seized an SAS plane in Mal­mo, Swe­den.  The world’s eyes were riv­et­ed on the hostage dra­ma.  Some­time lat­er the world heard from the Croa­t­ian ter­ror­ists:  The two ambas­sado­r­i­al mur­der­ers and an addi­tion­al five oth­er impris­oned Croa­t­ians must be sur­ren­dered.  Oth­er­wise, they threat­ened to blow up the plane with the 86 pas­sen­gers aboard.   The Swedish gov­ern­ment saw no oth­er way out except to yield, and the two mur­der­ers were brought aboard the plane.

The SAS pilots were forced to fly to Spain.  There, the Croa­t­ians were at first impris­oned.  But the right­ist gov­ern­ment of Fran­co refused to sur­ren­der them up to Swe­den, and in the begin­ning of 1974 they were giv­en per­mis­sion to trav­el to the terrorist’s par­adise of Paraguay.  There they quick­ly con­nect­ed up with a Croa­t­ian WACL group that func­tioned there as a death squadron.12 

Then things began to go well for Miro Baresic.  He began to work direct­ly under Condor’s infa­mous chief with­in Paraguay, Pas­tor Coro­nel, the head of the Secu­ri­ty Police.  Coro­nel is a hor­ri­fy­ing gen­tle­man, whose police force has spe­cial­ized in the advanced tor­ture tech­niques.  An Amer­i­can lawyer relates this macabre inci­dent:

One time, Coro­nel had a real­ly ‘fat’ catch:  a leader of the small ille­gal com­mu­nist par­ty.  Coro­nel had the com­mu­nist brought direct­ly into his office, where he prompt­ly shot him twice in the head with his Mag­num.  Coro­nel then ordered the head cut off and took it to the Pres­i­den­tial Palace. His mes­sage was clear – he want­ed to demon­strate how effi­cient he was at main­tain­ing the nation free from com­mu­nists.13 

So it was to Coro­nel, that Baresic became the right hand.  Coro­nel is his country’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive to WACL, and par­tic­i­pates eager­ly in the orga­ni­za­tions meet­ings.  Baresic was made the chief instruc­tor for Coronel’s agents.  By this time he had changed his name to Tony Sar­ic, so he could trav­el freely.

The mur­der­er Tony Sar­ic, alias Miro Baresic, was then about to become a big gun.  Coro­nel had full con­fi­dence in him, and at the end of 1977 Baresic came to the Unit­ed States on a diplo­mat­ic pass­port.  He became, noth­ing less than, the chief of secu­ri­ty for Paraguay’s embassy in Wash­ing­ton, D.C.  He also was made the per­son­al body­guard to Ambas­sador Esco­bar, who was also a WACL del­e­gate.

But Baresic’s sto­ry is not over yet. At the leg­endary WACL con­fer­ence held in Wash­ing­ton, D.C. from the 27th – 30th of April 1978, Sar­ic appeared as the Croa­t­ian del­e­gate.  The year­ly WACL con­fer­ences have a rep­u­ta­tion of being a frame­work for the great­est show­ings of inter­na­tion­al ter­ror­ists, neo-Nazis and fas­cists since the Sec­ond World War.  They swarm with right-wing extrem­ists.  At that con­fer­ence, for exam­ple, there were twen­ty-one del­e­gates from the Cuban exile ter­ror group, Alpha-66, alone.  Also in atten­dance were a series of Swedish right-wing extrem­ists, who we will meet fur­ther on in this arti­cle.

Exit With­out Escort

Two years lat­er, things start to go wrong for Tony Sar­ic.  After hav­ing just won a large karate com­pe­ti­tion in the Unit­ed States he jubi­lant­ly ran around the are­na with a Croa­t­ian flag.  Among those in the audi­ence were two FBI agents, who found some­thing in Saric’s con­duct sus­pi­cious.  They know that some bomb-sabo­teurs in the U.S. have had con­nec­tions with Croa­t­ians hav­ing con­nec­tions to Paraguay.  When they returned to the FBI head­quar­ters in Wash­ing­ton, D.C. they dove into the exten­sive files, and after some hunt­ing around, were shocked to dis­cov­er that Sar­ic was iden­ti­cal with the want­ed mur­der­er and ter­ror­ist, Miro Baresic.

The ham­mer fell, Baresic was arrest­ed and, after one year, he was returned to Swe­den.  But he was, evi­dent­ly, no ordi­nary pris­on­er.  In prison he was a celebri­ty.  When it was announced he was about to mar­ry a Swedish woman, there was talk that he would be released.  Accord­ing to Swedish press reports, a ‘diplo­mat-like’ man who trav­elled in a big car pre­sent­ed him quan­ti­ties of dol­lars as a wed­ding gift.  Who that man was, is a sto­ry not yet unrav­eled.  How­ev­er, it is an indis­putable fact that the ter­ror­ist and mur­der­er Baresic has been grant­ed leave from prison many times, often with­out escorts.

Lat­er, in Decem­ber of 1987, Miro Baresic was released and togeth­er with his wife board­ed a flight to his beloved Paraguay.

Miro Baresic is an inter­est­ing fig­ure because of the infor­ma­tion he could have pro­vid­ed the Swedish police regard­ing WACL and Con­dor.  Fur­ther­more, he was of inter­est because of an intu­itive feel­ing on the part of Lis­bet Palme imme­di­ate­ly after the mur­der.  She told the Swedish press that she felt her hus­band was mur­dered by Croa­t­ian ter­ror­ists, and that she had a feel­ing that there was some­thing famil­iar about the mur­der­er.

Only now are the Swedish police begin­ning, seri­ous­ly, to turn their atten­tion toward the Croa­t­ian right-wing extrem­ists.  This, after Baresic has been released.  And, released despite the fact that his cir­cles ear­li­er had been con­nect­ed with Swedish ter­ror­ist actions and mur­der; includ­ing hav­ing threat­ened to liq­ui­date the entire Palme fam­i­ly.  The author­i­ties had not noticed that the same cir­cles were close­ly linked to the Latin Amer­i­can groups that had had Palme on their death­list.

Just now a group of Swedish police are in West Ger­many to inves­ti­gate some of the Croa­t­ian exiles who belong to the Ustachi cir­cles around Baresic.

One thing is cer­tain­ly thought pro­vok­ing:  Baresic, the mur­der­er and ter­ror­ist has only served sev­en years of his sen­tence, at a time when the world was tak­ing such a hard line against ter­ror­ists.

Only now, just as this arti­cle is being writ­ten (12/88), it has been learned that Baresic had leave on Feb­ru­ary 28, 1986 – the very day that Palme as mur­dered!  What occu­pied his time that day is not known.  His Croa­t­ian friends have pro­vid­ed him with an ali­bi.

Also recent­ly dis­closed is that Yugoslavia had repeat­ed­ly and unsuc­cess­ful­ly pressed to have Baresic extra­dit­ed.  Instead, he was giv­en his free­dom in 1987, and flew off to Paraguay.

Sev­er­al times before Palme’s mur­der, Baresic had pre­sent­ed peti­tions for clemen­cy.  These requests were blocked by Palme, who inter­vened per­son­al­ly, accord­ing to the Swedish Social Demo­c­ra­t­ic paper, Afton­bladet.  Lenien­cy came after Palme’s assas­si­na­tion.

*The broad and mul­ti-branched WACL net­work has sup­port­ers world-wide.   When Olof Palme was killed, four Scan­di­na­vian WACL adher­ants with exper­tise in get­away routes and deep con­nec­tions into the Swedish police could have been found in Swe­den.  While, it should be empha­sized that this does not con­sti­tute proof of any direct con­nec­tion to the Palme mur­der, it is sug­ges­tive of what ought to be inves­ti­gat­ed.*

The Baresic trail leads direct­ly into the WACL net­work.  All of the Croa­t­ian exiles around Baresic were WACL peo­ple and part of the same labyrinthine under­world which Shack­ley and the Iran/Contra team had drawn upon.  The Bofors trail also leads into WACL.

This, how­ev­er, is not the only trail with Swedish con­nec­tions that points toward WACL.  At the time of the Palme mur­der, two neo-Nazis with inter­na­tion­al get­away route exper­tise and con­nec­tions to WACL, were in Swe­den.

We need to back­wind the cal­en­dar to April, 1978, when the infa­mous Wash­ing­ton, D.C. WACL con­fer­ence was in ses­sion.

As men­tioned pre­vi­ous­ly, Baresic was present under the pseu­do­nym Tony Sar­ic.  Despite that, many must have rec­og­nized him.  Among those who no doubt did, were two Swedes, Ake J. Ek and Anders Lars­son, as well as the Nor­we­gian, Tor Pet­ter Had­land.  The remain­der of this arti­cle will deal with these three Scan­di­na­vian con­nec­tions.  We will take them in turn:  Tor Pet­ter Had­land first along with his con­nec­tions to anoth­er Nor­we­gian Nazi, Erik Blucher.

Had­land was the leader of the Nor­we­gian neo-Nazi party’s group, the Nor­we­gian Front Stormtroop­ers.  When the Nor­we­gian Front Stormtroop­ers began in 1977 to appear in con­nec­tions to WACL, it was Had­land who rep­re­sent­ed these Nor­we­gian Nazis at the WACL meet­ings held around the world.  Had­land was Erik Blucher’s right-hand man.  Blucher as leader of the Nor­we­gian neo-Nazis had sev­er­al times been involved in scan­dals involv­ing both mil­i­tary train­ing of young neo-Nazis and ille­gal weapons in Nor­way.

In 1979, along with Had­land And oth­er Euro­pean Nazis, Blucher attempt­ed to stage a pow­er coup with­in the Euro­pean branch of WACL.  A more ‘mod­er­ate’ group, how­ev­er, was vic­to­ri­ous.  The two neo-Nazis were forced to leave WACL offi­cial­ly, but con­tin­ued to work with­in WACL behind the scenes.

Then in ’81, Blucher’s and Hadland’s paths diverge for two years.  Had­land took up res­i­dence in Ore­bro, Swe­den and Blucher trav­eled to Lon­don, where he quick­ly con­tact­ed the neo-Nazi cir­cles who had oper­at­ed a get­away-route-cen­tral called Brown Aid.  This escape route cen­ter helped, among oth­ers, twen­ty-three Ital­ian ter­ror­ists.14  Two of these Ital­ians had been sought in con­nec­tion with the mas­sive bomb­ing of the Bologna train sta­tion in Italy.

This get­away-rout­ing cen­ter was exposed in 1981 by the British tele­vi­sion sta­tion, Grana­da.  After the expo­sure, the cen­ter need­ed both a new inter­na­tion­al get­away ‘trav­el’ sec­re­tary found and to be built up again.  Accord­ing to British sources, Erik Blucher became that new sec­re­tary.

In 1983 the Eng­lish police had start­ed to sus­pect Blucher, and he trav­eled to Swe­den where his old friend, Tor Pat­ter Had­land, had pro­cured him an apart­ment.  Blucher signed his name as Erik Olsen.

Exact­ly what Blucher, the escape route expert, and Had­land, the orga­niz­er, did after that, we can only spec­u­late about.  Cer­tain of the cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing their fur­ther move­ments are unknown, but it has been pos­si­ble to sketch and out­line of them:

In Novem­ber of 1984, Tor Pet­ter Had­land aban­doned Ore­bro and fled to an apart­ment locat­ed at 32 Block­sten­vagen in Stockholm’s sub­urb of Han­den.  Blucher often had stayed at the same address.

Less than one year lat­er, in Sep­tem­ber 1985, Blucher was liv­ing in a slum-clear­ance apart­ment in Hels­ing­borg at 15‑C Blakul­la­gatan.  This address is not far from the bor­der cross­ing point to Den­mark, although Blucher was nev­er there.

Blucher, addi­tion­al­ly, estab­lished a firm named Edel­weiss Sur­vival.  He main­tained a post box in Snekker­sten, near Helsin­gor, Den­mark.  Edel­weiss Sur­vival had two address­es:  Box 7094 in Sund­by­berg and anoth­er at P.O. Box 13026, Hels­ing­borg, Swe­den.  Per­haps it was a coin­ci­dence that the get­away route expert, Blucher, had apart­ments and post box address­es in Stock­holm and on the bor­der between Swe­den and Den­mark, per­haps not.15 

The well-informed British mag­a­zine, Search­light, report­ed in 1985 that a secret cen­ter for Euro­pean neo-Nazi activ­i­ties had been estab­lished in Stock­holm.  For­mer WACL peo­ple were involved.  Some evi­dence indi­cat­ed that Had­land and Blucher were involved.

Whether or not they had any­thing to do with the mur­der of Olof Palme on the 28th of Feb­ru­ary, 1986 is not known.  It does seem strange, though, that none of the Swedish author­i­ties had any inter­est in the two Nazi’s exper­tise in escape routes inter­na­tion­al­ly and of their orga­ni­za­tion­al capa­bil­i­ties.  One thing, how­ev­er, we do know:

Three months after the death of Palme, Had­land gave notice on his apart­ment out­side of Stock­holm and moved home to Nor­way.  At the same time, Blucher once again changed his name (to Tor Erik Nielsen) and give notice at his apart­ment in Hels­ing­borg.  The get­away route experts had found new pas­tures.

Warn­ing

Anoth­er inter­est­ing devel­op­ment par­al­leled the activ­i­ties of Blucher and Had­land.  It took place around yet anoth­er WACL big­wig, the Swedish Anders Lars­son.  We turn back the clock to 1978 to the WACL con­fer­ence in D.C. for the last time when both Tor Pet­ter Had­land and Miro Baresic (under the false name of Tony Sar­ic) were in atten­dance.  Anders Lars­son also was at this Wash­ing­ton con­fer­ence of WACL.

Anders Lars­son is a strange gen­tle­man.  It was he, para­dox­i­cal­ly, that had maneu­vered Blucher, Had­land and their new-Nazi com­rades ‘out’ of WACL.  It was also Lars­son who was one of the prin­ci­pal peo­ple behind the prepa­ra­tion of the WACL ‘Blue Doc­u­ment’ which dis­closed the Nazi affil­i­a­tions of some of the more ‘clean’ –appear­ing WACL mem­bers.16

Many things point, how­ev­er, to Larsson’s ‘war’ against the neo-Nazis hav­ing been for strate­gic pur­pos­es.  As one mem­ber of the cir­cle around him wrote in a let­ter dat­ed 2/25/81: It seems as if Lars­son oper­at­ed under the mot­to – “Our Nazis are good Nazis, but their Nazis are bad Nazis.”  Or to say it anoth­er way, Larsson’s bat­tle against the Nazis was not ide­o­log­i­cal, but rather exclu­sive­ly a pow­er strug­gle.  Lars­son had good rela­tions, for exam­ple, with the Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tors from the ABN (Anti-Bol­she­vik Block of Nations) which is an umbrel­la orga­ni­za­tion under WACL.  ABN is the same orga­ni­za­tion to which Miro Baresic belonged.

Lars­son was known for his being an ardent Palme-hater.  He nev­er tried to hide his con­tempt for the Swedish Prime Min­is­ter who he thought deserved to be exter­mi­nat­ed.  As far back as the 1970’s, Lars­son, with the help of Amer­i­can con­tacts, had arranged for large anti-Palme demon­stra­tions in the Unit­ed States.

Lars­son was WACL’s gen­er­al sec­re­tary in Swe­den.   He with­drew from that posi­tion in 1983.  He often signed his let­ters with the sig­na­ture “anti-Palme”.

Two months pri­or to Palme’s mur­der, Lars­son along with a right-wing prison offi­cer sur­veilled the Swedish Prime Min­is­ter dur­ing the funer­al of Alva Myrdal.  On the 20th of Feb­ru­ary, Lars­son deliv­ered a mys­te­ri­ous let­ter to the Swedish State Min­istry.  Inside the enve­lope lay a news­pa­per head­line with the text:  “Palme Dead”.

One week lat­er Olof Palme was shot and killed.

The Palme-hat­ing Anders Lars­son was, in fact, the very first per­son inves­ti­gat­ed fol­low­ing the mur­der.  But why should Lars­son deliv­er a warn­ing let­ter to Palme if he him­self was involved in the mur­der con­spir­a­cy?  An expla­na­tion could be that Lars­son knew some­thing via his old WACL con­nec­tions and act­ed as he did as part of a pow­er strug­gle in extreme right cir­cles.  He may have want­ed to warn of the assas­si­na­tion plans then, but lat­er was afraid to tell any­thing about it.

Swedish jour­nal­ists and Palme inves­ti­ga­tors say that today Lars­son appears very fright­ened and has all but gone under­ground.17 

When Anders Lars­son retired from his WACL work in 1983, his func­tions in Swe­den were tak­en up by police agent Ake J. Ek.  Ek was a sea­soned WACL mem­ber. PRESS has ear­li­er demon­strat­ed (issue #35) var­i­ous con­nec­tions between the Swedish police and WACL vis-à-vis the so-called ‘police trail’.  Ake J. Ek, who is a well known extrem­ist right winger could be anoth­er one of these con­nec­tions.

Ek was also at the Wash­ing­ton WACL con­fer­ence back in 1978.  There he had var­i­ous deal­ings, side-by-side, with Tor Peter Had­land, Anders Lars­son, Miro Baresic, numer­ous oth­er neo-Nazis, tor­tur­ers, exe­cu­tion­ers, and mem­bers of death­squads.  Ek had been an instruc­tor of psy­chol­o­gy at the Swedish Police Acad­e­my for a num­ber of years.  Thus, at this acad­e­my he was on the ped­a­gog­i­cal side of things.  It was in this ‘intel­lec­tu­al shad­ow­land’ that a long suc­ces­sion of the noto­ri­ous Nor­rmalm police mem­bers were trained.  Nor­rmalm Police Watch Dis­trict #1 is in the spot­light today pre­cise­ly because of these right-wing police agents’ pecu­liar move­ments in the neigh­bor­hood of the crime scene on the night of Palme’s death.  There are indi­ca­tions that some of the police have had con­nec­tions to Nazi cir­cles.  One of the police­men had a Nazi hel­met in his apart­ment which also con­tained an unspec­i­fied col­lec­tion of radio com­mu­ni­ca­tion equip­ment.

Sol­dier of For­tune

There are many strange sto­ries sur­round­ing Palme’s assas­si­na­tion.  One exam­ple is the tale about a Yugosla­vian sol­dier of for­tune by the name of Ivan von Berchan.  One month before Palme’s death, von Berchan, alleged­ly, approached Sapo, Sweden’s intel­li­gence agency.  The sol­dier of for­tune relat­ed that a CIA agent using the cov­er name George Moran had been offered a con­tract  for $2,000,000 to mur­der Palme.  He had known the CIA agent from Libya at the end of the ‘70’s. This was just at the time that per­son­nel from the Secret Team was train­ing ter­ror­ists in Libya.  With this con­nec­tion, we are back to Shack­ley and the peo­ple behind Iran/Contra.

The Sapo agent who the sol­dier of for­tune approached was Alf Karls­son.  Karls­son asserts that von Berchan first approached him after the mur­der of Palme.  That, how­ev­er, direct­ly con­tra­dicts a state­ment from Stockholm’s may­or, Inger Baven and his sec­re­tary.  Accord­ing to both Inger Baven and the sec­re­tary, Ivan von Berchan com­mu­ni­cat­ed the same infor­ma­tion one month before Palme’s being ter­mi­nat­ed.

It was the Sapo agent, Karls­son, who in 1984 had orig­i­nal­ly denounced the small Kur­dish par­ty, PKK, as a ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion.  In addi­tion it was he who per­sis­tent­ly sup­port­ed Hans Holmer in his hunt for the Kurds involved in the assas­si­na­tion of Palme.  And last­ly, it was Karls­son who had been on watch at Sapo the day the mur­der of Palme was com­mit­ted.  He, there­fore, must have known that by after­noon Palme had called off the super­vi­sion of the Sapo agents which usu­al­ly func­tioned as his body­guards.

Alf Karls­son is known to be part of the Swedish far right.  He has sub­se­quent­ly resigned from his posi­tion with­in the Swedish intel­li­gence ser­vice.  He cur­rent­ly works in for­mer Sapo chief, P.G. Vinge’s pri­vate firm loca­tion in Stock­holm, Vinge Pro­tec­tion AB.  The firm exer­cis­es ‘social con­trol’ activ­i­ties with­in cor­po­ra­tions.  In the news­pa­per, Sven­s­ka Dag­bladet, Karls­son described Ing­var Bratt (a for­mer Bofors employ­ee who dis­closed the Bofors smug­gling to Iran) as an exam­ple of “a cat­a­stro­phe that took place because of a human leak in an oth­er­wise per­fect secu­ri­ty sys­tem”.  It was just those types of human leaks that Vinge and Karls­son, with their con­sult­ing firm’s exper­tise, set out to stop.   Vinge had for many years been one of Sweden’s most zeal­ous Palme haters.  His dif­fi­cul­ties col­lab­o­rat­ing with Palme caused Vinge’s res­ig­na­tion as Sapo chief in 1970.  It was Vinge, dur­ing his time as Sapo chief, who alleged­ly brand­ed Palme a ‘secu­ri­ty risk’.

These cir­cum­stances do not prove that Karls­son was involved in the plan­ning and even­tu­al mur­der of Palme.  How­ev­er, can one rea­son­ably rely on the Swedish author­i­ties to inves­ti­gate those trails which involve these very same Swedish author­i­ties?

Clear­ly, what is need­ed is to start again from the begin­ning.   It is nec­es­sary to attempt to assem­ble the loose ends that appear to have been over­looked in the con­fu­sion.  Nec­es­sary to see with fresh eyes the motives, log­ic and pos­si­ble trails.  And, as this arti­cle sought to pro­vide analy­sis for, start over again with a look toward the right-wing extrem­ist orga­ni­za­tion named WACL … pre­cise­ly because this orga­ni­za­tion is exten­sive enough and moti­vat­ed to have inter­vened in all of the major trails in con­nec­tion to the mur­der of Olof Palme. . . . .

NOTES

1)     His new iden­ti­ty was pro­vid­ed accord­ing to the U.S. wit­ness pro­tec­tion pro­gram, under U.S. law.

2)    In a report, clas­si­fied Secret, to the For­eign Rela­tions Com­mit­tee it was report­ed:  “Argenti­na, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay have effec­tu­at­ed a coor­di­nat­ed a coop­er­a­tive intel­li­gence oper­a­tion called Oper­a­tion Con­dor.  This joint effort con­sists of three phas­es.  Phase three involves the cre­ation of spe­cial groups, which will car­ry out sanc­tions, includ­ing assas­si­na­tions, against ene­mies of the regimes in the named coun­tries.”

3)    Many of them were lat­er deployed in the new­ly formed inter­na­tion­al nar­cotics police, DEA.  Four­teen of them were Cuban exiles trained by Shack­ley in ter­ror­ism.  A rather long suc­ces­sion of them lat­er returned to Latin Amer­i­ca cam­ou­flaged as nar­cotics agents.  There they resumed their old func­tions as tor­ture instruc­tors.

4)    The trav­el­ling death­pa­trols went by the gener­ic name of ‘White Hand’.  Among the one found chiefly exiled Cubans and Chileans, but also French, Ital­ian and Croa­t­ian ter­ror­ists.  A mem­ber of the White Hand told jour­nal­ist Jack Ander­son of the Wash­ing­ton Post in 1984: “CAL is the white Hand”.  CAL is the Latin Amer­i­can branch of WACL.

5)    For exam­ple, when exiled Cuban ter­ror­ists were to mur­der Bernar­do Leight­en (for­mer Par­lia­ment leader of Chile) in Rome.  They had already teamed up with Ital­ian fas­cist and ter­ror­ist Stephano del­la Chi­aie.

6)    Shack­ley brought Vang Pao togeth­er with mafia boss San­to Traf­fi­cante some years lat­er in Saigon.  After that, the stream of nar­cotics into the Unit­ed States increased.

7)    The Water­gate Scan­dal began to trick­le out in 1972.  It appeared that tr=here of the per­sons who broke into the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Head­quar­ters in Wash­ing­ton oper­at­ed direct­ly under Shack­ley.

8)    Dis­trict Attor­ney Jerome Sand­ford quit in anger over the CIA’s actions.

9)    By 1977, Secret Team mem­bers were already, via Nugan-Hand mid­dle­men, in the ille­gal busi­ness that revolved around Bofors’ anti-air­craft weapons to Thai­land.

10) As an exam­ple of the rather incred­i­ble abil­i­ties of Shackley’s peo­ple at dis­in­for­ma­tion, one can cite the the­o­ry about the KGB being behind the cocaine smug­gling that sud­den­ly appeared in sev­er­al major news­pa­pers when the case began to roll.  The false trail was con­struct­ed in Cana­da, pre­sum­ably long before there was even talk about a tri­al.  All they had to do was to push the but­ton when threat­ened by dis­clo­sure.

11) An almost iden­ti­cal firm name, Euro­pean Man­age­ment & Trust Corp., emerged in Vaduz, Liecht­en­stein.  This firm was owned by Alfred Buh­ler who for sev­er­al years had been a mid­dle­man for the CIA’s weapons deals in the Mid­dle East.  In 1983 the New York Times dis­closed that Buh­ler had ear­li­er been involved in the abduc­tion of the Con­golese polit­i­cal leader, Moi­se Tsombe.  Buh­ler had also, at the time, worked togeth­er with Thomas Clines, a front fig­ure in the Iran/Contra scan­dal and a mem­ber of the ‘Secret Team’.  Buh­ler resides in Vaduz today.  Just recent­ly CIAOU, the large weapons con­sor­tium in Vaduz has been paid 14 mil­lion Dan­ish kro­ner by Bofors.

12) The group mur­dered, among oth­ers, the Uruguayan ambas­sador to Paraguay.  This was ‘jus­ti­fied’ as a ‘acci­dent’ – the Croa­t­ians had mis­tak­en him for the Yugosla­vian ambas­sador.

13) The vic­tim was Miguel Sol­er.  The episode is described in the book, Labyrinth, by Eugene Prop­per, who was the lead pros­e­cu­tor in the tri­al for the mur­der of Orlan­do Lete­lier in Wash­ing­ton.

14) The worst of these, Alle­san­dro Ali­bran­di, was sought for the mur­ders of a jour­nal­ist and of an inves­tiga­tive judge in Rome.  The Ital­ian terrorist’s leader, Stephano del­la Chi­aie, and Elio Mas­sagrande had tak­en part in the WACL con­gress held in 1981 in Paraguay.

15) The extra­or­di­nary coin­ci­dence, how­ev­er, is that the name of the Blucher firm, Edel­weiss Sur­vival, is very close to the name of two oth­er firms – Edel­weiss, and Sur­vival Sup­ply – which are owned by a retired British major.  His name is Ian Souter-Clarance, and he is a known per­son in Eng­lish neo-Nazi cir­cles.  He had been involved in the Brown Aid escape route net in Eng­land, just as Blucher had been.

16) This purge was, how­ev­er, not excep­tion­al­ly whole-heart­ed.  Tor Pet­ter Had­land, for exam­ple, instead par­tic­i­pat­ed in meet­ings of WACL’s youth orga­ni­za­tion, WYACL.  The brains behind the neo-Nazis ‘coup’ attempt, for­mer WACL leader Roger Pear­son, func­tioned con­tin­u­ous­ly in the Amer­i­can WACL group four years lat­er.  The ter­ror­ist and exe­cu­tion­er also con­tin­ued as a WACL mem­ber.

17) Lars­son is a close friend of for­mer South African agent, Bertil Wedin, who is begin­ning to come under media inves­ti­ga­tion.  He had been the source of dis­in­for­ma­tion in the Turk­ish right-wing press about the Kur­dish trail.  See PRESS #35. [Stieg Lars­son point­ed his inves­ti­ga­tion in the direc­tion of Wedin–D.E.]

2. The late Stieg Lars­son cit­ed Bertil Wedin, an asso­ciate of Alf Lars­son, as being involved in the assas­si­na­tion.

“Olof Palme Mur­der Inquiry Takes Anoth­er Twist with Revoked Ali­bi” by Peter Walk­er; The Guardian [UK]; 2/27/2014.

Swe­den’s nation­al obses­sion with the unsolved 1986 mur­der of its then-prime min­is­ter Olof Palme – renewed this week by a rev­e­la­tion that nov­el­ist Stieg Lars­son helped police with the inves­ti­ga­tion – has tak­en yet anoth­er twist after it emerged that a key sus­pect no longer has an ali­bi for the night in ques­tion.

Palme, a pop­ulist, left­wing politi­cian whose views made him numer­ous ene­mies at home and abroad, was shot in Feb­ru­ary 1986 as he walked home with his wife from a cin­e­ma in Stock­holm. Almost 30 years of inquiries has seen the focus fall on every­one from South African agents – Palme was a vocal crit­ic of apartheid – to rogue Swedish spies.

On Tues­day a Swedish news­pa­per revealed that Lars­son – the late author of the huge­ly suc­cess­ful Mil­len­ni­um trio of crime thrillers, and an expert on far-right groups – left 15 box­es of files con­nect­ed to his own probe into the case. Lars­son passed police the name of Bertil Wedin, a Swede with links to South African secu­ri­ty ser­vices, as the man who organ­ised the killing. Wedin, now liv­ing in north­ern Cyprus, denies this and police say he is not a sus­pect.

How­ev­er, the news­pa­per giv­en access to Larsson’s files, Sven­s­ka Dag­bladet, report­ed on Thurs­day that its own inves­ti­ga­tions had brought a new lead about anoth­er right-wing activist who was an asso­ciate of Wedin. Alf Ener­ström, a doc­tor and implaca­ble rightwing oppo­nent of Palme who spent time in a psy­chi­atric hos­pi­tal after shoot­ing a police­woman, was inves­ti­gat­ed close­ly by police but always main­tained that at the time of the killing he was at home with his then-part­ner – an account she backed up.

How­ev­er, when ques­tioned by Sven­s­ka Dag­bladet, Gio Petre, a for­mer actor who sep­a­rat­ed from Ener­ström in the late 1990s, said this was­n’t the case. On the night of the mur­der Ener­ström in fact left the flat say­ing he had to put mon­ey in a park­ing meter, Petre said. She told the paper: “I thought it was strange because it was free park­ing on a Fri­day night and over the week­end. He came back late.”

Asked why she had not said this before, Petre said: “I did not dare. I was scared of Alf, he was vio­lent. You are the first peo­ple to ask me about this in a long time.”

Ener­ström was of inter­est to the police because he was known to be a gun lover and a vehe­ment crit­ic of Palme. Accord­ing to Sven­s­ka Dag­bladet he told police he saw Palme as a trai­tor, say­ing: “Who­ev­er killed Palme was­n’t just doing a ser­vice to God, they also did the coun­try a favour.”

Petre also told the news­pa­per she believed her for­mer part­ner owned a Smith & Wes­son revolver at the time, the type of gun police believe was used to shoot Palme. . . .

3. The Bofors firm is part of a muni­tions car­tel that includes Krupp (now Thyssen/Krupp) and has evolved into part of the Bor­mann cap­i­tal net­work.

All Hon­or­able Men by James Stew­art Mar­tin; Lit­tle Brown [HC]; pp. 252–253. 

. . . .One of the mys­ter­ies of World War II has been the unex­plained inter­na­tion­al rela­tions of the Swedish indus­tri­al orga­ni­za­tion, A.B. Sven­s­ka Kul­lager- Fab­riken, known as SKF, Swe­den’s largest indus­tri­al con­cern and the world’s largest man­u­fac­tur­er of ball and roller bear­ings. The prin­ci­pal Swedish inter­est in SKF is held by the Wal­len­bergs through their Enskil­da Bank and its invest­ment sub­sidiary, A.B. Investor. The actu­al extent of Ger­man or oth­er for­eign con­trol, either direct­ly or through the Wal­len­bergs, has not been dis­closed.

For many years the active man­age­ment of SKF was in the hands of Sven Wingquist, the founder of the firm. In 1941, he gave up the day-to-day man­age­ment but remained as chair­man of the board. From time to time, begin­ning in 1933 and 1934, Sven Wingquist came into the world spot­light as one of a col­or­ful clique of inter­na­tion­al adven­tur­ers, who gained spe­cial noto­ri­ety by their buzzing around Edward VIII at the time of his abdi­ca­tion in 1936. They includ­ed Axel Wen­ner-Gren, the yachts­man; Charles Bedaux, inven­tor of a labor speed-up sys­tem; and Jacques Ler­nai­gre-Dubre­nil, French banker and veg­etable-oil man of West Africa.

Axel Wen­ner-Gren will he remem­bered as a yachts­man with a remark­able record of coin­ci­dences. He cruised the seas through­out much of the war in his yacht, the South­ern Cross, and turned up to res­cue sur­vivors of Ger­man sub­ma­rine attacks, begin­ning with the Ger­man sink­ing of the British ship Athe­nia in 1939 and con­tin­u­ing through the Caribbean sub­ma­rine cam­paign of 1942. At the time, some peo­ple spec­u­lat­ed about how one yacht could hap­pen along so often when a sub­ma­rine spot­ted a ves­sel; but the coin­ci­dences were nev­er explained. . . .

. . . . Sven Wingquist and Axel Wen­ner-Gren had tak­en an active part after World War I in the Ger­man plans to mask the own­er­ship of sub­sidiaries abroad. To get around the Ver­sailles Treaty, firms like Carl Zeiss, man­u­fac­tur­ers of mil­i­tary opti­cal equip­ment, set up branch­es such as the “Nedin­sco” firm at Ven­lo in the Nether­lands and car­ried on as before. The Krupp firm did the same in Spain, Swe­den, and oth­er coun­tries.

In 1934 the Swedish gov­ern­ment dis­cov­ered that Krupp con­trolled a block of shares in the Bofors steel and muni­tions works through a Swedish dum­my hold­ing com­pa­ny called “Boforsin­ter­essen­ten.” Sven Wingquist, who was chair­man of the board of the Bofors steel and muni­tions works, was one of the two Swedish cit­i­zens who had been vot­ing this stock for Krupp at stock­hold­ers’ meet­ings.

The Krupp con­cern con­trolled approx­i­mate­ly one third of Swedish Bofors in this man­ner and had main­tained enough addi­tion­al vot­ing strength through Axel Wen­ner-Gren to con­trol the affairs of Bofors. . . . .

4. The Bofors firm was cer­tain­ly among the Swedish com­pa­nies to have pros­pered under the aus­pices of the Bor­mann cap­i­tal net­work.

Mar­tin Bor­mann: Nazi in Exile; Paul Man­ning; Copy­right 1981 [HC]; Lyle Stu­art Inc.; ISBN 0–8184-0309–8; pp. 133–134.

. . . . An inter­est­ing side­light to this strug­gle between the Allies and Ger­many for influ­ence on Swe­den is the pecu­liar role played by Mar­cus and Jacob Wal­len­berg, mem­bers of Swe­den’s most impor­tant bank­ing fam­i­ly. Mar­cus head­ed a gov­ern­ment com­mis­sion which nego­ti­at­ed with Britain and the Unit­ed States through­out the war. At the same time, his broth­er Jacob was the chief nego­tia­tor for the Swedish gov­ern­ment with Nazi Ger­many. Thus were both sides cov­ered for Swedish busi­ness, includ­ing the fam­i­ly’s very own sub­stan­tial eco­nom­ic inter­ests. Fol­low­ing World War II, this fam­i­ly empire was to achieve its most spec­tac­u­lar pros­per­i­ty, as Ger­man invest­ments under the Bor­mann pro­gram matured in their Swedish safe-havens.

In this way, impres­sive wealth accrued to the Wal­len­bergs, as well as to the oth­er Swedish and Ger­man invest­ment groups con­trol­ling large hold­ings in the many Swedish com­pa­nies under Ger­man dom­i­nance in 1944. . . . [This would cer­tain­ly have includ­ed the Wen­ner-Gren assets. Note that James Stew­art Mar­tin dis­cuss­es the Wal­len­berg con­nec­tion at great length in All Hon­or­able Men.–D.E.]

 

Discussion

9 comments for “FTR #869 The Assassination of Olof Palme, Part 2”

  1. A neo-Nazi with a sword attacked a school yes­ter­day, killing a teacher and stu­dent and wound­ing two oth­ers, all with immi­grant back­grounds, on the same day that the gov­ern­ment announced up to 190,000 refugees could arrive in Swe­den this year:

    Reuters
    Swedish police say sword-wield­ing school killer dri­ven by racist motives
    STOCKHOLM | By Johan Ahlander and Simon John­son
    Fri Oct 23, 2015 3:48pm IST

    A masked swords­man who killed a teach­ing assis­tant and a boy and wound­ed two oth­ers, all with immi­grant back­grounds, was dri­ven by racist motives, Swedish police said on Fri­day, fuelling con­cerns that refugee num­bers were polar­iz­ing pub­lic opin­ion in the coun­try.

    The 21-year old assailant walked through a school in Troll­hat­tan, an indus­tri­al town in west­ern Swe­den with a large immi­grant pop­u­la­tion, stab­bing the assis­tant and boy to death with a sword before being shot dead by police.

    Police said all the vic­tims were from immi­grant back­grounds, and Inte­ri­or Min­is­ter Anders Yge­man said record num­bers of refugees had fuelled racism among a small seg­ment of soci­ety.

    The attack came on the same day that the gov­ern­ment announced up to 190,000 refugees could arrive in Swe­den this year, a record num­ber that has strained resources and seen sev­er­al arson attacks on asy­lum seek­er cen­tres.

    “We will have to ask our­selves sev­er­al ques­tions about how soci­ety is devel­op­ing, about polar­i­sa­tion and mobilise all good forces against this racist vio­lence,” Yge­man told TV4. “Of course there is a con­nec­tion in the sense of the social cli­mate.”

    But he defend­ed the cen­tre-left­’s lib­er­al asy­lum-seek­ing poli­cies that have seen Swe­den accept more refugees per capi­ta than any oth­er Euro­pean coun­try in recent years. Over the decades, Swe­den has wel­comed refugees rang­ing from Viet­nam war draft dodgers in the 1960s to Gulf War refugees in the 1990s.

    “You can’t blame asy­lum pol­i­cy because we have a mad­man who mur­ders chil­dren,” Yge­man said.

    Swedish media said one of the dead, a 17-year old pupil at the school, had come to Swe­den from Soma­lia three years ago. A 15-year old, recov­er­ing in hos­pi­tal from stab wounds, had recent­ly arrived from Syr­ia.

    “Three fac­tors point to the hate crime motive: the way he act­ed and how he was dressed dur­ing the attack at the site, and also find­ings at the flat where he lived,” Troll­hat­tan police spokesman Ste­fan Gustafs­son told Reuters.

    In a pho­to tak­en after the killer had stabbed at least one per­son, he posed in a school cor­ri­dor with pupils who thought his cape, mask and WWII-type hel­met were part of a Hal­loween prank. Moments lat­er he stabbed a teacher who approached him.

    “Then he chased us through the school, we were ter­ri­fied,” one girl told Afton­bladet.

    The sus­pect­ed killer’s social media accounts showed likes for pro-Nazi video clips as well as an anti-immi­gra­tion cam­paign, accord­ing to local media.

    “We have nev­er felt afraid in Swe­den,” dai­ly Afton­bladet quot­ed the moth­er of the injured boy say­ing.

    ...

    The anti-immi­grant Swe­den Democ­rats par­ty has seen its pop­u­lar­i­ty soar with polls show­ing it would get around 20 per­cent of the vote now, up from around 13 per­cent in a gen­er­al elec­tion last year.

    The par­ty plans an adver­tis­ing cam­paign in for­eign media aim­ing to warn off asy­lum seek­ers.

    Keep in mind that when you read:

    ...
    The anti-immi­grant Swe­den Democ­rats par­ty has seen its pop­u­lar­i­ty soar with polls show­ing it would get around 20 per­cent of the vote now, up from around 13 per­cent in a gen­er­al elec­tion last year.
    ...

    a 20 per­cent show­ing in the polls is basi­cal­ly what the rul­ing Social Democ­rats and cen­ter-right Mod­er­ate par­ties are get­ting.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | October 23, 2015, 2:57 pm
  2. @Pterrafractyl–

    As I have said so many times before THIS is the milieu of Carl Lund­strom, Wik­iLeaks et al.

    And it is the milieu of Snow­den, Green­wald, Ron Paul et al as well.

    I have nev­er seen more peo­ple be more wrong about so much as with the Eddie the Friend­ly Spook “op.”

    Note, too, how the “migrants” (hate that term) are paving the way for the rise of fas­cism in Europe.

    “Ille­gal immi­gra­tion” is dri­ving much of the fas­cist agen­da in the U.S. as well.

    FTR #864 high­lights some aspects of this dynam­ic.

    http://spitfirelist.com/for-the-record/ftr-864-interview-with-peter-levenda-about-ratline-and-other-books/

    Best,

    Dave

    Posted by Dave Emory | October 23, 2015, 5:29 pm
  3. @Dave: Addi­tion­al­ly, it’s sad, but we’re get­ting to the point where the col­lec­tive deci­sions of EU and euro­zone gov­ern­ments are almost sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly direct­ed to push poli­cies that pro­mote a fas­cist agen­da. Why? Because now they’re all bound by insane pol­i­cy straight­jack­ets like the Fis­cal Com­pact along side the larg­er EU (and espe­cial­ly euro­zone) push to make mar­ket forces and busi­ness inter­ests the real supreme law the land and the end­less farce/quest to turn every nation into a Ger­many-like export pow­er­house (see Por­tu­gal’s recent­ly over­ruled elec­tions). And when real-world human­i­tar­i­an con­cerns like spikes in pover­ty and job­less­ness, and “lost gen­er­a­tions” of youth, become accept­able in the name of achiev­ing take a back­seat to ide­o­log­i­cal fan­tasies like con­vert­ing all of Europe into a Ger­many-like export pow­er­house and cut­ting deficits in a depres­sion, we’ve cre­at­ed a sit­u­a­tion where even when the EU nations do some­thing that, on the sur­face, is quite noble and help­ful, like tak­ing in des­per­ate refugees flee­ing for their lives, we’re almost inevitably going to see an exac­er­bat­ed xeno­pho­bic back­lash because of all the eco­nom­ic con­cerns that come with help­ing.

    Sure, some sort of xeno­pho­bic back­lash would have be guar­an­teed even under the best of eco­nom­ic times when poten­tial­ly mil­lions of refugees from oth­er parts of the world sud­den­ly show up. But it’s hard to imag­ine many socioe­co­nom­ic sce­nar­ios for Europe that are worse than today’s for an under­tak­ing on the scale of tak­ing in mil­lions of refugees sim­ply because it’s become clear now that the poli­cies that all EU (and espe­cial­ly euro­zone) nations MUST fol­low, indef­i­nite­ly, are poli­cies that are going to keep unem­ploy­ment, stress, and hope­less­ness at ele­vat­ed lev­els. And that means an indef­i­nite rise of polar­ized pol­i­tics and the far-right (which can’t actu­al­ly con­tin­ue indef­i­nite­ly). When it comes to the man­date (and fan­ta­sy) that every EU nation must try to become a lean-mean export pow­er­ful with low deficits and debt, there is sim­ply no room for com­pro­mise. That is now abun­dant­ly clear (again, see Por­tu­gal’s recent­ly over­ruled elec­tions). And that’s exact­ly the kind of envi­ron­ment that’s going to max­i­mize the poten­tial xeno­pho­bic back­lash­es.

    So now we have a world where Europe is sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly so screwed up from zero-sum/‘cut-first, ask ques­tions lat­er’ ide­olo­gies that it can’t even help oth­ers with­out hurt­ing itself. It’s pret­ty alarm­ing.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | October 25, 2015, 5:29 pm
  4. @Dave: Yikes. Poland just became the lat­est exam­ple of how aus­ter­i­ty plus a hefty dose of xeno­pho­bia can cause an EU nation to veer far to right: Poland’s Law and Jus­tice Par­ty just came back into pow­er for the first time in a decade on an anti-aus­ter­i­ty/an­ti-refugee plat­form. In addi­tion, for the first time since the col­lapse of com­mu­nism, not a sin­gle left-wing par­ty won a seat on par­lia­ment:

    The New York Times
    Law and Jus­tice Par­ty Wins in Poland’s Par­lia­men­tary Elec­tions

    By RICK LYMAN
    OCT. 25, 2015

    WARSAW — Poland’s chief right-wing oppo­si­tion par­ty, out of pow­er for near­ly a decade, came roar­ing back in par­lia­men­tary vot­ing Sun­day, appar­ent­ly seiz­ing con­trol of the gov­ern­ment with a plat­form that mix­es calls for high­er wages with appeals to tra­di­tion­al Catholic val­ues.

    Pri­vate exit polls, released imme­di­ate­ly after vot­ing end­ed Sun­day evening, showed the par­ty, Law and Jus­tice, draw­ing 39.1 per­cent of the vote, trounc­ing Civic Plat­form, the cen­ter-right par­ty that has led Poland since 2007, which got 23.4 per­cent.

    Law and Jus­tice imme­di­ate­ly declared vic­to­ry and Civic Plat­form con­ced­ed defeat, although the final results will not be made offi­cial until Tues­day.

    “Pol­ish life can be dif­fer­ent,” said Jaroslaw Kaczyn­s­ki, the leader of Law and Jus­tice. “We can be proud of it. We will nev­er have to be ashamed of our­selves, as we did many times in the past, through no fault of ours.”

    Although the two par­ties have had extreme­ly tense rela­tions for many years, Mr. Kaczyn­s­ki urged his sup­port­ers to put that in the past, but then added a jab of his own.

    “There will be no vengeance,” he said. “No per­son­al con­flicts, no get­ting even, no kick­ing of those who fell — even if they fell because of them­selves, and right­ly so.”

    Mr. Kaczyn­s­ki, a for­mer prime min­is­ter and the twin broth­er of Pres­i­dent Lech Kaczyn­s­ki, who was killed in a 2010 plane crash, did not run as the party’s can­di­date for prime min­is­ter. Although he is expect­ed to wield pow­er behind the scenes — it was he who was the chief speak­er at Sunday’s vic­to­ry cel­e­bra­tion — the prime min­is­ter­ship will go to anoth­er par­ty vet­er­an, Bea­ta Szyd­lo.

    A somber Civic Plat­form con­ced­ed defeat and tout­ed its accom­plish­ments.

    “We haven’t wast­ed these eight years,” said Prime Min­is­ter Ewa Kopacz. “Poland today is a coun­try which devel­ops eco­nom­i­cal­ly with sin­gle-dig­it unem­ploy­ment. This is the state we’re leav­ing Poland to those who won the elec­tion.”

    In an espe­cial­ly telling result, high­light­ing how Poland was join­ing many region­al neigh­bors in a shift to the right, none of the country’s left-wing or social demo­c­ra­t­ic par­ties appeared to have qual­i­fied for seats in Par­lia­ment for the first time in Poland’s post-com­mu­nist his­to­ry.

    “Let us not lose spir­it,” said Bar­bara Nowac­ka, head of the Left Alliance. “Although soci­ety tell us, ‘No, we want the right,’ we do know that the time for the left will come and then we will be wait­ing, strong and deter­mined, with our heads high.”

    With 38 mil­lion res­i­dents, Poland is both the largest and the most eco­nom­i­cal­ly vibrant nation in East­ern Europe and has emerged in recent years as a region­al leader. Still, dis­en­chant­ed vot­ers have proved increas­ing­ly tired of hear­ing about a thriv­ing econ­o­my that they feel has left too many behind and that still lags far behind those of more pros­per­ous, West­ern Euro­pean nations.

    Under Poland’s com­plex vot­ing rules, a par­ty can take con­trol of the gov­ern­ment with­out the need for a coali­tion part­ner even if it draws less than 40 per­cent of the vote, depend­ing on how many of the small­er par­ties cross the 5 per­cent thresh­old required to earn seats in the new Par­lia­ment.

    ...

    “With 38 mil­lion res­i­dents, Poland is both the largest and the most eco­nom­i­cal­ly vibrant nation in East­ern Europe and has emerged in recent years as a region­al leader. Still, dis­en­chant­ed vot­ers have proved increas­ing­ly tired of hear­ing about a thriv­ing econ­o­my that they feel has left too many behind and that still lags far behind those of more pros­per­ous, West­ern Euro­pean nations.”
    Left or right, every­one hates aus­ter­i­ty. But based on Las and Jus­tice’s his­toric vic­to­ry, many hate refugees too, or at least fear they’re infest­ed with par­a­sites:

    Reuters
    Pol­ish oppo­si­tion warns refugees could spread infec­tious dis­eases
    Thu Oct 15, 2015 7:06am EDT
    WARSAW

    Poland’s largest oppo­si­tion par­ty, tipped to win the coun­try’s Oct. 25 elec­tion, ral­lied behind its leader on Thurs­day after he warned that refugees from the Mid­dle East could bring dis­eases and par­a­sites to Poland.

    Jaroslaw Kaczyn­ski’s com­ments have attract­ed wide crit­i­cism in the media and among the rul­ing cen­trists, with some say­ing he was using ultra-nation­al­ist imagery to fan hatred and fear.

    But the spokes­woman for Kaczyn­ski’s Law and Jus­tice (PiS) par­ty said there was noth­ing improp­er about his com­ments.

    “(Jaroslaw Kaczyn­s­ki) is talk­ing about facts and ask­ing whether there are real risks. This is what Poles are ask­ing about. With mil­lions of refugees (com­ing to Europe) such ques­tions are com­plete­ly jus­ti­fied,” Elz­bi­eta Witek told reporters.

    Kaczyn­ski’s con­ser­v­a­tives have used the refugee cri­sis in Europe to tap into deep-seat­ed mis­trust of for­eign­ers in Poland in their bid to retake pow­er after the elec­tion.

    He took their rhetoric to a new lev­el on Mon­day dur­ing a cam­paign stop in a small town 90 km (56 miles) north of War­saw.

    “There are already signs of emer­gence of dis­eases that are high­ly dan­ger­ous and have not been seen in Europe for a long time: cholera on the Greek islands, dysen­tery in Vien­na. There is also talk about oth­er, even more severe dis­eases,” he said.

    “Also there are some dif­fer­ences relat­ed to geog­ra­phy, var­i­ous par­a­sites, pro­to­zoa that are com­mon and are not dan­ger­ous in the bod­ies of these peo­ple, (but) may be dan­ger­ous here. Which does­n’t mean there is a need to dis­crim­i­nate any­one, but you need to check.”

    Euro­pean health author­i­ties have not report­ed any evi­dence of wide­spread out­breaks of infec­tious dis­eases in parts of Europe with high num­bers of migrants.

    Last month, War­saw backed a Euro­pean Union plan to share out 120,000 refugees across the 28-nation bloc. Under the plan Poland will take in 4,500 refugees, adding to some 2,000 it has already accept­ed.

    But senior PiS offi­cials have sug­gest­ed they would oppose the relo­ca­tion of migrants from war-torn Syr­ia or Iraq to Poland if they win pow­er, rais­ing the prospect of fur­ther bat­tles in Brus­sels on the polit­i­cal­ly tox­ic refugee issue.

    “There are already signs of emer­gence of dis­eases that are high­ly dan­ger­ous and have not been seen in Europe for a long time: cholera on the Greek islands, dysen­tery in Vien­na. There is also talk about oth­er, even more severe dis­eases.”
    Well, he is cor­rect on one point. There are indeed some severe dis­eases spread­ing in Europe these days. They may not actu­al­ly be spread by the refugees, but they are spread­ing.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | October 25, 2015, 7:00 pm
  5. @Dave: Here’s anoth­er devel­op­ment worth keep­ing an eye on regard­ing the ways the refugee cri­sis might impact the rise of the Euro­pean far-right. The EU and Turkey are work­ing on a deal: The EU pays Turkey 3 bil­lion euros to increase coast guard patrols, arrest more smug­glers and build six addi­tion­al recep­tion cen­ters. In exchange, Turkey wants visa-free trav­el to Europe for its 75 mil­lion cit­i­zens and the reopen­ing of its long-stalled EU acces­sion talks:

    Reuters
    Why a deal to help Turkey deal with migrants is good for Europe – not migrants
    By Tania Karas
    Octo­ber 22, 2015

    The chaos of thou­sands of refugees arriv­ing on the Greek islands dai­ly may soon slow if the Euro­pean Union and Turkey can imple­ment a plan to keep them from com­ing to Europe.

    The deal, which has been in the works for months, calls for the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion to give Turkey up to 3 bil­lion euros to step up coast guard patrols, arrest more smug­glers and build six addi­tion­al recep­tion cen­ters along its south­ern bor­der with Syr­ia. In return, Turkey has asked for visa-free trav­el to Europe for its 75 mil­lion cit­i­zens and the reopen­ing of its long-stalled EU acces­sion talks.

    Turkey hosts more refugees than any oth­er coun­try in the world.

    While the deal ignores the root caus­es of the cri­sis, it’s a win for all polit­i­cal play­ers involved. Euro­pean lead­ers can show their con­stituents they’ve tak­en action on a sit­u­a­tion that is grow­ing unten­able. And Turk­ish Pres­i­dent Recep Tayyip Erdo­gan gains impor­tant polit­i­cal lever­age as the coun­try approach­es its Nov. 1 par­lia­men­tary elec­tions.

    But it’s doubt­ful that the deal will ben­e­fit refugees them­selves. The draft plan is clear on its inten­tion to keep them from enter­ing Europe, but vague on how it would boost their rights with­in Turkey. It also lacks real com­mit­ment to open­ing new, safe chan­nels for legal reset­tle­ment to Europe.

    The plan, which has not been final­ized, calls for Europe to give Turkey more finan­cial sup­port toward host­ing 2.2 mil­lion-plus refugees, the vast major­i­ty of whom are Syr­i­an. It also calls for Turkey to update its asy­lum sys­tem and give refugees more oppor­tu­ni­ties to work and go to school.

    Those are wor­thy and com­mend­able goals. But imple­men­ta­tion will take immense polit­i­cal will, and could prove far more cost­ly than the offer that’s now on the table.

    “If Turkey real­ly com­mits to this, the EU should think of the 3 bil­lion [euros] as a down pay­ment,” said Demetrios Papademetri­ou, pres­i­dent of the Wash­ing­ton-based Migra­tion Pol­i­cy Institute’s Euro­pean arm. Indeed, the sum is less than half of the 7 bil­lion euros Turkey has spent on aid since the Syr­i­an con­flict began in 2011. Turkey’s for­eign min­is­ter, Feridun Sinir­li­oglu, has said the 3 bil­lion would only cov­er the plan’s first year.

    And with the plan’s focus on secur­ing Euro­pean bor­ders, refugees’ rights may get lost in the shuf­fle. In a report released Sat­ur­day, ahead of Ger­man Chan­cel­lor Angela Merkel’s vis­it to Istan­bul, Amnesty Inter­na­tion­al warned that the deal ignores recent “fail­ures of the Turk­ish author­i­ties to respect the rights of refugees and migrants.”

    The group said it has doc­u­ment­ed sev­er­al recent cas­es where refugees have been returned to Iraq and Syr­ia after being inter­cept­ed by Turk­ish bor­der guards as they tried to reach Europe. Oth­ers have been detained with­out access to lawyers.

    As it stands, refugees in Turkey face harsh restric­tions to their dai­ly lives. Most can­not work legal­ly, and efforts to grant them work per­mits have proven polit­i­cal­ly unpop­u­lar amid a slow­ing econ­o­my. Only about 15 per­cent live in refugee camps, while the rest must find their own hous­ing. More than 70 per­cent of refugee chil­dren are not enrolled in school. Access to health­care is lim­it­ed.

    This is most­ly due to Turk­ish law regard­ing the treat­ment of refugees, which is quite dif­fer­ent from the Euro­pean sys­tem. In Turkey, Syr­i­ans fall under their own spe­cial legal regime called “tem­po­rary pro­tec­tion,” which is just that: tem­po­rary. It can end, or indi­vid­u­als can be deport­ed, at any time. (Refugees from oth­er nations, such as Iraq and Afghanistan, fall under a sep­a­rate sys­tem with even few­er rights.)

    Even vis­it­ing anoth­er city with­in Turkey is dif­fi­cult. Recent­ly police have begun arrest­ing refugees who trav­el with­out advance per­mis­sion.

    Full refugee sta­tus, as is con­ferred in Europe, gives refugees the right to hous­ing and social ser­vices, and often­times, a path­way to cit­i­zen­ship. They also have eas­i­er access to the labor mar­ket in Europe.

    Metin Çora­batir, pres­i­dent of the Research Cen­ter for Asy­lum and Migra­tion in Ankara, said the deal is an “oppor­tu­ni­ty for Turkey to adapt to a mod­ern asy­lum sys­tem” and raise itself to Euro­pean stan­dards.

    Right now the only legal way for refugees in Turkey to gain these rights is reset­tle­ment to oth­er coun­tries. And while more than 650,000 refugees have crossed into Europe this year, just a trick­le have been reset­tled direct­ly from coun­tries like Turkey, Lebanon and Jor­dan. The EU-Turkey plan does not give a num­ber for how many could be reset­tled, or details on poten­tial new reset­tle­ment avenues.

    More than 3,100 refugees have drowned this year try­ing to cross into Greece from Turkey, accord­ing to the UNHCR. Thou­sands more have died in attempts to reach Italy from North Africa.

    At a news con­fer­ence in Athens last week, UN High Com­mis­sion­er for Refugees Anto­nio Guter­res called on Europe to take more refugees direct­ly from Turkey and Jor­dan.

    “We need to sub­stan­tial­ly increase the num­ber of oppor­tu­ni­ties for peo­ple to come to Europe legal­ly,” he said, fresh off a vis­it to the Greek island of Les­bos. “It’s impos­si­ble not to be shocked when we see those boats which are man­u­fac­tured just for this cross­ing, very frag­ile. I have nev­er seen boats as frag­ile as those I have seen in Les­bos, which are destroyed imme­di­ate­ly after­wards.”

    ...

    While the deal ignores the root caus­es of the cri­sis, it’s a win for all polit­i­cal play­ers involved.”
    Yep.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | October 26, 2015, 6:38 pm
  6. Here’s a pair of arti­cles that are trag­i­cal­ly top­i­cal giv­en the ongo­ing drum­beat of war against Venezuela: A trove of 47,000 pages of US files relat­ed to Argenti­na’s dic­ta­tor­ship from 1976–83 was just released last week. It’s the third and final release of such files as part of the Declas­si­fi­ca­tion Project for Argenti­na, ful­fill­ing a for­mal request made by Argenti­na in 2016. The two pre­vi­ous releas­es hap­pened dur­ing the Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion.

    That the doc­u­ments are filled with grue­some details about the US involve­ment in sup­port­ing South Amer­i­ca’s mil­i­tary gov­ern­ments is no sur­prise giv­en the nature of the doc­u­ments or the nature of the US’s involve­ment in South Amer­i­ca’s dirty wars and the US-led Oper­a­tion Con­dor assas­si­na­tion pro­gram. But as the fol­low­ing arti­cle points out, the US was­n’t the only West­ern gov­ern­ment with an involve­ment in Oper­a­tion Con­dor. It turns out West Ger­man, French and British intel­li­gence agen­cies were also send­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tives to the Con­dor orga­ni­za­tion sec­re­tari­at in Buenos Aires in 1977 “to dis­cuss meth­ods for estab­lish­ment of an anti-sub­ver­sion orga­ni­za­tion sim­i­lar to Con­dor”, accord­ing to one of the released CIA doc­u­ments. The Euro­peans even told the Con­dor sec­re­tari­at that “The terrorist/subversive threat had reached such dan­ger­ous lev­els in Europe that they believed it best if they pooled their intel­li­gence resources in a coop­er­a­tive orga­ni­za­tion such as Con­dor.” Part of the appeal of the Con­dor approach to assas­si­na­tion “terrorists/subversives” was appar­ent­ly that it would allow Euro­pean gov­ern­ments to all coor­di­nate their oper­a­tions in close coor­di­na­tion to avoid one intel­li­gence ser­vice from uni­lat­er­al­ly oper­at­ing in anoth­er coun­try. So Oper­a­tion Con­dor was­n’t just one of the dark­est chap­ters of US and Latin Amer­i­can his­to­ry. It was also a mod­el for multi­na­tion­al intel­li­gence agency coop­er­a­tion to pro­mote an inter­na­tion­al cam­paign of assas­si­na­tions:

    The Guardian

    Euro­pean spies sought lessons from dic­ta­tors’ bru­tal ‘Oper­a­tion Con­dor’

    CIA files show intel­li­gence ser­vices want­ed to learn from South America’s 1970s cam­paign of ter­ror against left­wing sub­ver­sion

    Uki Goñi in Buenos Aires

    Tue 16 Apr 2019 02.30 EDT
    Last mod­i­fied on Tue 16 Apr 2019 14.05 EDT

    British, West Ger­man and French intel­li­gence agen­cies sought advice from South America’s bloody 1970s dic­ta­tor­ships on how to com­bat left­wing “sub­ver­sion”, accord­ing to a new­ly declas­si­fied CIA doc­u­ment.

    The Euro­pean intel­li­gence ser­vices want­ed to learn about “Oper­a­tion Con­dor”, a secret pro­gramme in which the dic­ta­tor­ships of Argenti­na, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile, Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador con­spired to kid­nap and assas­si­nate mem­bers of left­wing guer­ril­la groups in each other’s ter­ri­to­ries.

    Exact­ly how many peo­ple died as a result is unknown, but the con­spir­a­cy led to the deaths of at least 100 peo­ple in Argenti­na. And accord­ing to the CIA doc­u­ment dat­ed 7 April 1978, Euro­pean spies were keen to find out how it worked.

    “Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of West Ger­man, French and British intel­li­gence ser­vices had vis­it­ed the Con­dor orga­ni­za­tion sec­re­tari­at in Buenos Aires dur­ing the month of Sep­tem­ber 1977 in order to dis­cuss meth­ods for estab­lish­ment of an anti-sub­ver­sion orga­ni­za­tion sim­i­lar to Con­dor,” states the doc­u­ment.

    “The terrorist/subversive threat had reached such dan­ger­ous lev­els in Europe that they believed it best if they pooled their intel­li­gence resources in a coop­er­a­tive orga­ni­za­tion such as Con­dor,” the Euro­peans told the Con­dor sec­re­tari­at in Buenos Aires, accord­ing to the CIA doc­u­ment.

    “They empha­sized, how­ev­er, that if such an orga­ni­za­tion were estab­lished (in Europe), all their oper­a­tions against sub­ver­sives would be close­ly coor­di­nat­ed so that the ser­vice of one coun­try would not oper­ate uni­lat­er­al­ly in anoth­er coun­try.”

    The doc­u­ment forms part of an astound­ing 47,000 pages of secret US files relat­ing to Argentina’s bloody 1976–83 dic­ta­tor­ship which were released on Fri­day.

    Con­sist­ing most­ly of CIA and FBI files, the pre­vi­ous­ly unseen doc­u­ments throw a sharp light on the dark oper­a­tions of Argentina’s sev­en-year mil­i­tary regime and the grue­some meth­ods it employed to anni­hi­late thou­sands of most­ly young peo­ple.

    ...

    A total of 977 for­mer mil­i­tary offi­cers and col­lab­o­ra­tors are cur­rent­ly in jail for crimes relat­ing to Argentina’s dic­ta­tor­ship, accord­ing to the human rights pros­e­cu­tion office in Buenos Aires.

    Such crimes are described in grue­some detail in the files. One doc­u­ment spells out the first crude attempts by Argentina’s mil­i­tary to dis­pose of its vic­tims after bod­ies washed up on the shores of neigh­bour­ing Uruguay in the sec­ond month of the dic­ta­tor­ship.

    “The gov­ern­ment of Uruguay has been informed pri­vate­ly by Argen­tine author­i­ties that eight of the 10 bod­ies found along the Uruguayan coast are the result of Argen­tine anti-ter­ror­ists oper­a­tions,” a state depart­ment cable from May 1976 states. “The source said the bod­ies were jet­ti­soned over the (Riv­er Plate) from Argen­tine heli­copters after inter­ro­ga­tions by Argen­tine author­i­ties.”

    Argentina’s dic­ta­tor­ship lat­er per­fect­ed its dis­pos­al method, drug­ging vic­tims before slit­ting their stom­achs open and drop­ping them from planes into the Atlantic Ocean.

    In anoth­er doc­u­ment, Robert Scher­rer, the FBI legal attache in Buenos Aires who had exten­sive con­tacts with the Argen­tine mil­i­tary, report­ed to Wash­ing­ton in Octo­ber 1976 how the bod­ies of two Cuban secu­ri­ty offi­cers were dis­posed of.

    Jesús Cejas Árias and Cres­cen­cia Gala­ne­na Hernán­dez were kid­napped and mur­dered by the dic­ta­tor­ship in August 1976.

    “Their bod­ies were cement­ed into one large stor­age drum and thrown into the Rio Lujan riv­er,” Scher­rer report­ed. “Because Cejas and Gala­ne­na had been immersed in water for such a con­sid­er­able peri­od of time facil­i­tat­ing rapid decom­po­si­tion, it is doubt­ful that they will be iden­ti­fied.”

    One heav­i­ly redact­ed CIA doc­u­ment from Decem­ber 1976 describes how many so-called “con­fronta­tions” with left­wing guer­ril­las were in real­i­ty “fab­ri­ca­tions on the part of the author­i­ties designed to explain away the killing of pris­on­ers who had been under deten­tion”.

    Anoth­er state depart­ment cable in the cache dates from July 1978, a month after Argenti­na host­ed and won the Fifa World Cup.

    The doc­u­ment says that Vat­i­can diplo­mats informed the US embassy how “in mid-June (right in the mid­dle of the World Cup games) a female psy­chol­o­gist was abduct­ed by secu­ri­ty forces and held for 15 hours”. Dur­ing her deten­tion, the psy­chol­o­gist, a polio vic­tim who used a wheel­chair, was tor­tured and inter­ro­gat­ed with an elec­tric “picana” (an elec­tric cat­tle prod) regard­ing the where­abouts and activ­i­ties of one of her patients.

    The release of the doc­u­ments ful­fils a for­mal request made by Argenti­na in 2016, on the 40th anniver­sary of the mil­i­tary coup, dur­ing a state vis­it to Argenti­na by the then res­i­dent Barack Oba­ma.

    This third release marks the end of Declas­si­fi­ca­tion Project for Argenti­na, fol­low­ing the release of two tranch­es of the doc­u­ments dur­ing Obama’s admin­is­tra­tion.

    ———–

    “Euro­pean spies sought lessons from dic­ta­tors’ bru­tal ‘Oper­a­tion Con­dor’” by Uki Goñi; The Guardian; 04/16/2019

    The Euro­pean intel­li­gence ser­vices want­ed to learn about “Oper­a­tion Con­dor”, a secret pro­gramme in which the dic­ta­tor­ships of Argenti­na, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile, Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador con­spired to kid­nap and assas­si­nate mem­bers of left­wing guer­ril­la groups in each other’s ter­ri­to­ries.”

    Yep, the Euro­pean intel­li­gence agen­cies want to learn how they could set up Oper­a­tion Con­dors of their own. They want to learn how gov­ern­ments could coor­di­nate their assas­si­na­tions and kid­nap­pings of left­ist and Oper­a­tion Con­dor was a mod­el they found appeal­ing:

    ...
    “Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of West Ger­man, French and British intel­li­gence ser­vices had vis­it­ed the Con­dor orga­ni­za­tion sec­re­tari­at in Buenos Aires dur­ing the month of Sep­tem­ber 1977 in order to dis­cuss meth­ods for estab­lish­ment of an anti-sub­ver­sion orga­ni­za­tion sim­i­lar to Con­dor,” states the doc­u­ment.

    “The terrorist/subversive threat had reached such dan­ger­ous lev­els in Europe that they believed it best if they pooled their intel­li­gence resources in a coop­er­a­tive orga­ni­za­tion such as Con­dor,” the Euro­peans told the Con­dor sec­re­tari­at in Buenos Aires, accord­ing to the CIA doc­u­ment.

    “They empha­sized, how­ev­er, that if such an orga­ni­za­tion were estab­lished (in Europe), all their oper­a­tions against sub­ver­sives would be close­ly coor­di­nat­ed so that the ser­vice of one coun­try would not oper­ate uni­lat­er­al­ly in anoth­er coun­try.”
    ...

    It’s one of the rare areas where you don’t want to have inter­na­tion­al coop­er­a­tion: when it’s inter­na­tion­al coop­er­a­tion in polit­i­cal assas­si­na­tions.

    So these released doc­u­ments raise quite a few ques­tions, espe­cial­ly regard­ing what these Euro­pean intel­li­gence agen­cies did with Oper­a­tion Con­dor knowl­edge they acquired. How was that knowl­edge ulti­mate­ly used? And what oth­er forms of coop­er­a­tion did these Euro­pean gov­ern­ments have with the Latin Amer­i­can mil­i­tary dic­ta­tor­ships of that peri­od? They’re impor­tant ques­tions, and as the fol­low­ing arti­cle hints, they’re the kinds of ques­tions these gov­ern­ments are prob­a­bly not going to want to have answer. At least not any time soon. At least that’s what we can infer from the Ger­man gov­ern­men­t’s ongo­ing refusal to answer ques­tions about its own rela­tion­ship with Pinochet’s gov­ern­ment, cit­ing con­fi­den­tial­i­ty:

    Deutsche Welle

    Ger­man gov­ern­ment cagey on spy coop­er­a­tion in Pinochet’s Chile

    The Ger­man For­eign Min­istry has refused to shed light on the BND’s coop­er­a­tion with the CIA to aid Gen­er­al Augus­to Pinochet’s bru­tal regime in Chile. The vague respons­es have out­raged the Ger­man Left par­ty.

    Date 03.01.2019
    Author Ben Knight

    The Ger­man gov­ern­ment has offered only cagey respons­es to ques­tions about coop­er­a­tion between the BND (Ger­many’s for­eign intel­li­gence agency), the Amer­i­can CIA and mil­i­tary dic­ta­tor­ships in Chile and Greece in the late 1960s and ear­ly ’70s.

    The social­ist Left par­ty’s Jan Korte sub­mit­ted 68 ques­tions to the Ger­man For­eign Min­istry late last year, and the incom­plete answers he got irri­tat­ed the Bun­destag mem­ber so much that he filed an offi­cial com­plaint about the non­co­op­er­a­tion of the gov­ern­ment. “These answers are an unpar­al­leled insult,” he told DW. “And, by the way, that is no way to treat the par­lia­ment.”

    The For­eign Min­istry did admit that the admin­is­tra­tion of Chan­cel­lor Willy Brandt knew in advance about the immi­nent putsch being planned by Chilean mil­i­tary lead­ers under Gen­er­al Augus­to Pinochet in Sep­tem­ber 1973, but offered few details on exact­ly how.

    Oth­er­wise, the gov­ern­ment large­ly refused to answer any key ques­tions about the coop­er­a­tion between the CIA (which active­ly sup­port­ed Pinochet’s coup) and the BND, cit­ing “the good of the state” as the main rea­son. “The release of infor­ma­tion relat­ed to the coop­er­a­tion with for­eign secu­ri­ty forces would breach the strict and unlim­it­ed con­fi­den­tial­i­ty that forms the basis of all intel­li­gence coop­er­a­tion,” accord­ing to the gov­ern­ment.

    The ques­tions that remained unan­swered include: When and in what way was the BND active in Chile? Did the CIA inform the BND about the putsch, which the US had sup­port­ed both finan­cial­ly and active­ly through its intel­li­gence agency? Was the BND involved in any way with the CIA oper­a­tions in Chile? What was the cen­tral ele­ment of Ger­man for­eign pol­i­cy in Chile, if not human rights?

    “We can assume that there was close coop­er­a­tion [between the BND and the CIA], and that it was legit­imized by anti-com­mu­nism,” Korte said. The Ger­man gov­ern­ment also refused to say whether any Chilean mil­i­tary per­son­nel had been trained in West Ger­many in the years between 1965 and 1995.

    But for Korte the actions of the BND is only part of the pic­ture. “For me the impor­tant thing is that the gov­ern­ment sent out a sig­nal: yes, there were some very dark spots, and we coop­er­at­ed with peo­ple ... who were sim­ply mass mur­der­ers,” he said.

    A trans­par­ent secret ser­vice?

    Korte was par­tic­u­lar­ly exer­cised by the fact the respons­es came from a min­istry run by the cen­ter-left Social Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty (SPD), which has oth­er­wise made a point of its con­cern for re-eval­u­at­ing Ger­man his­to­ry. “It just shows that there is no aware­ness of the prob­lem,” he said. “There is appar­ent­ly no con­scious­ness of his­to­ry in [For­eign Min­is­ter] Heiko Maas.”

    He also ques­tioned the gov­ern­men­t’s excus­es for not pro­vid­ing infor­ma­tion: how events that hap­pened decades ago could effect the BND’s cur­rent oper­a­tions, or why the Ger­man gov­ern­ment would want to respect its con­fi­den­tial­i­ty agree­ments with a regime that main­tained tor­ture camps. He also for­mal­ly com­plained to the gov­ern­ment about the per­ceived lack of coop­er­a­tion.

    Korte got sim­i­lar answers to his ques­tions on the BND’s col­lab­o­ra­tion with the mil­i­tary jun­ta that gov­erned Greece between 1967 and 1974. The BND had main­tained close con­tact with its Greek coun­ter­part, the KYP, before and after the coup that brought the far-right regime to pow­er, but could offer Korte no details from the BND’s own reports from the coun­try.

    The gov­ern­ment is not oblig­ed to release intel­li­gence doc­u­ments that are younger than 60 years old, but Korte and oth­er crit­ics point­ed out that its ret­i­cence does not chime with the BND’s trans­paren­cy ini­tia­tives.

    Last Octo­ber, the agency released a book pro­duced by an inde­pen­dent pan­el of his­to­ri­ans who had researched its archives from 1945 to 1968, sup­ply­ing €2.4 mil­lion ($2.75 mil­lion) to sup­port the project. Korte praised this report, com­ment­ing that it showed that crit­i­cal his­tor­i­cal reap­praisal, even when fund­ed by the gov­ern­ment agen­cies being reviewed, was pos­si­ble after all.

    The lucra­tive dic­ta­tor­ship

    The For­eign Min­istry did offer some insight into Ger­man rela­tions with Chile. The answers to Kor­te­’s ques­tions revealed that trade with Chile saw a major boost in the year after Pinochet took over, with exports ris­ing by over 40 per­cent in 1974, and imports by 65 per­cent.

    In fact, Ger­man news­pa­per reports from the time revealed that con­ser­v­a­tive politi­cians, along with sec­tions of the media, ini­tial­ly cel­e­brat­ed Pinochet’s takeover and the eco­nom­ic ben­e­fits it promised.

    Franz-Josef Strauss, gov­ern­ment min­is­ter sev­er­al times and leader of the Bavar­i­an Chris­t­ian Social Union (CSU) for over 25 years, told the Bay­ernkuri­er in 1973 that “the word ‘order’ once again has a sweet sound for Chileans.”

    Mean­while Bruno Heck, then gen­er­al sec­re­tary of the Chris­t­ian Demo­c­ra­t­ic Union (CDU), trav­eled to Pinochet’s Chile in 1973 as a show of sol­i­dar­i­ty. When asked about reports that the nation­al sta­di­um in San­ti­a­go had been turned into a deten­tion camp where dis­si­dents were being tor­tured, Heck infa­mous­ly told the Süd­deutsche Zeitung on his return, “life in the sta­di­um is rather pleas­ant in sun­ny weath­er.”

    ...

    ———-

    “Ger­man gov­ern­ment cagey on spy coop­er­a­tion in Pinochet’s Chile” by Ben Knight; Deutsche Welle; 03/01/2019

    “The social­ist Left par­ty’s Jan Korte sub­mit­ted 68 ques­tions to the Ger­man For­eign Min­istry late last year, and the incom­plete answers he got irri­tat­ed the Bun­destag mem­ber so much that he filed an offi­cial com­plaint about the non­co­op­er­a­tion of the gov­ern­ment. “These answers are an unpar­al­leled insult,” he told DW. “And, by the way, that is no way to treat the par­lia­ment.””

    The Ger­man For­eign Min­istry clear­ly isn’t very inter­est­ed in trans­paren­cy regard­ing the West Ger­man gov­ern­men­t’s poli­cies towards Pinochet’s coup in Chile. And what infor­ma­tion was released isn’t exact­ly excul­pa­to­ry. For exam­ple, the For­eign Min­istry did admit that gov­ern­ment knew in advance about Pinochet’s coup, but did­n’t give any details about how it knew it. And that appears to be pret­ty much the only thing the min­istry was will­ing to admit. Whats the jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for all the secre­cy? It would be a breach of con­fi­den­tial­i­ty. Specif­i­cal­ly, con­fi­den­tial­i­ty between the West Ger­man gov­ern­ment and Pinochet’s dic­ta­tor­ship:

    ...
    The For­eign Min­istry did admit that the admin­is­tra­tion of Chan­cel­lor Willy Brandt knew in advance about the immi­nent putsch being planned by Chilean mil­i­tary lead­ers under Gen­er­al Augus­to Pinochet in Sep­tem­ber 1973, but offered few details on exact­ly how.

    Oth­er­wise, the gov­ern­ment large­ly refused to answer any key ques­tions about the coop­er­a­tion between the CIA (which active­ly sup­port­ed Pinochet’s coup) and the BND, cit­ing “the good of the state” as the main rea­son. “The release of infor­ma­tion relat­ed to the coop­er­a­tion with for­eign secu­ri­ty forces would breach the strict and unlim­it­ed con­fi­den­tial­i­ty that forms the basis of all intel­li­gence coop­er­a­tion,” accord­ing to the gov­ern­ment.

    ...

    He also ques­tioned the gov­ern­men­t’s excus­es for not pro­vid­ing infor­ma­tion: how events that hap­pened decades ago could effect the BND’s cur­rent oper­a­tions, or why the Ger­man gov­ern­ment would want to respect its con­fi­den­tial­i­ty agree­ments with a regime that main­tained tor­ture camps. He also for­mal­ly com­plained to the gov­ern­ment about the per­ceived lack of coop­er­a­tion.
    ...

    And note how the Ger­man gov­ern­ment refused to say whether any Chilean mil­i­tary per­son­nel had been trained in West Ger­many in the years between 1965 and 1995. Giv­en what we just learned about the West Ger­man inter­est in learn­ing from Oper­a­tion Con­dor, it rais­es the ques­tion of whether or not Chilean mil­i­tary per­son­nel in West Ger­many would have been the ones receiv­ing the train­ing or giv­ing it:

    ...
    The ques­tions that remained unan­swered include: When and in what way was the BND active in Chile? Did the CIA inform the BND about the putsch, which the US had sup­port­ed both finan­cial­ly and active­ly through its intel­li­gence agency? Was the BND involved in any way with the CIA oper­a­tions in Chile? What was the cen­tral ele­ment of Ger­man for­eign pol­i­cy in Chile, if not human rights?

    “We can assume that there was close coop­er­a­tion [between the BND and the CIA], and that it was legit­imized by anti-com­mu­nism,” Korte said. The Ger­man gov­ern­ment also refused to say whether any Chilean mil­i­tary per­son­nel had been trained in West Ger­many in the years between 1965 and 1995.

    But for Korte the actions of the BND is only part of the pic­ture. “For me the impor­tant thing is that the gov­ern­ment sent out a sig­nal: yes, there were some very dark spots, and we coop­er­at­ed with peo­ple ... who were sim­ply mass mur­der­ers,” he said.
    ...

    So the Ger­man gov­ern­ment clear­ly isn’t going to be forth­com­ing, alleged­ly over con­cerns over respect­ing the con­fi­den­tial­i­ty with an ille­gal mil­i­tary gov­ern­ment that main­tained tor­ture camps. But we don’t have rely on answers from the gov­ern­ment to get a good idea of why there’s so much resis­tance to pro­vid­ing those answers. All we have to look at is the pub­lic pro­nounce­ments of West Ger­many’s politi­cians and news­pa­pers at the time. Pro­nounce­ments that were a mix of praise, sol­i­dar­i­ty, and gid­di­ness over Pinochet’s coup:

    ...
    The lucra­tive dic­ta­tor­ship

    The For­eign Min­istry did offer some insight into Ger­man rela­tions with Chile. The answers to Kor­te­’s ques­tions revealed that trade with Chile saw a major boost in the year after Pinochet took over, with exports ris­ing by over 40 per­cent in 1974, and imports by 65 per­cent.

    In fact, Ger­man news­pa­per reports from the time revealed that con­ser­v­a­tive politi­cians, along with sec­tions of the media, ini­tial­ly cel­e­brat­ed Pinochet’s takeover and the eco­nom­ic ben­e­fits it promised.

    Franz-Josef Strauss, gov­ern­ment min­is­ter sev­er­al times and leader of the Bavar­i­an Chris­t­ian Social Union (CSU) for over 25 years, told the Bay­ernkuri­er in 1973 that “the word ‘order’ once again has a sweet sound for Chileans.”

    Mean­while Bruno Heck, then gen­er­al sec­re­tary of the Chris­t­ian Demo­c­ra­t­ic Union (CDU), trav­eled to Pinochet’s Chile in 1973 as a show of sol­i­dar­i­ty. When asked about reports that the nation­al sta­di­um in San­ti­a­go had been turned into a deten­tion camp where dis­si­dents were being tor­tured, Heck infa­mous­ly told the Süd­deutsche Zeitung on his return, “life in the sta­di­um is rather pleas­ant in sun­ny weath­er.”
    ...

    The gen­er­al sec­re­tary of the CDU trav­eled to Chile in 1973 as a show of sol­i­dar­i­ty and made light of reports that the nation­al sta­di­um had been turned into a tor­ture camp. That’s already part of the pub­lic record.

    So we know these West Euro­pean gov­ern­ments want­ed to set up an Oper­a­tion Con­dor of their own back in the 70’s and we know that they real­ly, real­ly, real­ly don’t want to talk about this stuff today. Was a Euro­pean Oper­a­tion Con­dor plan ever for­mal­ly orga­nized? At this point we don’t have the answers. Hope­ful­ly we’ll get them some day. And hope­ful­ly that answer will come in the form of the release of gov­ern­ment doc­u­ments. Because when you’re ask­ing the ques­tion of whether or not there was a secret mul­ti-gov­ern­ment assas­si­na­tion agree­ment set up to snuff out left­ists that’s the kind of answer that can come in many forms.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | April 17, 2019, 4:05 pm
  7. The author of this article–Uki Goni–is the author of “The Real Odessa.”

    http://ukigoni.com/odessa/list.htm

    I think, actu­al­ly, that the deci­sion to “Go Condor”–so to speak–was reached dur­ing World War II itself.

    The real­iza­tion of the Chris­t­ian West was the foun­da­tion of that: http://spitfirelist.com/for-the-record/ftr-1058-ftr-1059-and-ftr-1060-the-christian-west-parts‑1–2‑and-3-contextual-foundation-of-the-jim-dieugenio-interviews/

    Look what hap­pened to the Kennedy broth­ers, Mar­tin Luther King and count­less oth­ers in the U.S.

    In “The Hitler Lega­cy” and the inter­views I did with him about that, Peter Lev­en­da describes his vis­it to Colo­nia Dig­nidad, one of the oper­a­tional cen­ters of Con­dor.

    The night­mar­ish activ­i­ty fol­lowed him to the U.S.

    Keep up the great work!

    Dave

    Posted by Dave Emory | April 17, 2019, 4:36 pm
  8. Here’s a tan­ta­liz­ing update on the mur­der of Olaf Palme: It sounds like the Swedish and South African gov­ern­ments have recent­ly been engaged in talks that would involve South Africa reveal­ing the role its agents played in Palme’s assas­si­na­tion in exchange for improved rela­tions with Swe­den. That’s accord­ing to Göran Björk­dahl, a Swedish diplo­mat who stud­ied the Palme mur­der as a hob­by. A hob­by that end­ed up putting Björk­dahl in con­tact with var­i­ous South African mil­i­tary intel­li­gence offi­cials who con­firmed to Björk­dahl that South Africa’s mil­i­tary intel­li­gence was indeed behind the mur­der of Palme. As the fol­low­ing arti­cle describes, Björk­dahl recent­ly learned that the rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the gov­ern­ments of Swe­den and South Africa have now been in con­tact to dis­cuss the case. So it sounds like there’s a big pub­lic rev­e­la­tion that could be on the way in the mur­der of Olaf Palme because South Africa’s gov­ern­ment has already basi­cal­ly admit­ted it was behind it and they’re now nego­ti­at­ing the terms of mak­ing that admis­sion in pub­lic:

    The Guardian

    South Africa may hold the answer to who mur­dered Olof Palme

    The trail for the killer of the Swedish prime min­is­ter had gone cold until a diplo­mat picked up the 1986 case as a hob­by

    Göran Björk­dahl

    Mon 8 Jun 2020 02.20 EDT
    Last mod­i­fied on Mon 8 Jun 2020 09.47 EDT

    Dag Ham­marskjöld brought me to Olof Palme. Two Swedish lead­ers, both sup­port­ing small nations on the world scene, both of whom refused to be con­trolled by glob­al super­pow­ers; both died a vio­lent death. Were they also vic­tims of the same forces?

    For 11 years I inves­ti­gatI inves­ti­gat­ed the mys­te­ri­ous aero­plane crash that killed the for­mer UN sec­re­tary-gen­er­al Dag Ham­marskjöld, a a project that became the sub­ject of the doc­u­men­tary Cold Case Ham­marskjöld.

    It was dur­ing a 2014 research trip for the doc­u­men­tary that the mur­der case of the for­mer prime min­is­ter Olof Palme lit­er­al­ly fell into my lap, when the jour­nal­ist De Wet Pot­gi­eter passed me the so-called Deepsearch papers at the end of a din­ner. The doc­u­ments, pre­pared by the late gen­er­al Tai Min­naar , describe how South Africa named Palme an “ene­my of the state” and pro­vide names of peo­ple alleged­ly involved in deci­sion mak­ing, plan­ning and imple­men­ta­tion of his assas­si­na­tion.

    Lat­er I heard that these doc­u­ments were viewed by many in Swe­den as forg­eries. But the next year, I met retired gen­er­al Chris Thiri­on, a for­mer head of South Africa’s Mil­i­tary Intel­li­gence (MI), in Pre­to­ria – and he told me on cam­era that doc­u­ments in the Deepsearch papers looked gen­uine. He also said that he him­self was con­vinced that South Africa car­ried out the assas­si­na­tion.

    Through the Ham­marskjöld inves­ti­ga­tion I had built an exten­sive net­work of con­tacts: for­mer intel­li­gence oper­a­tives, ex-mil­i­tary staff, his­to­ri­ans, and jour­nal­ists. For the Palme case, one of the most use­ful con­tacts was a for­mer gen­er­al, Tie­nie Groe­newald, who at the time of Palme’s mur­der had been in charge of South Africa’s Nation­al Intel­li­gence Inter­pre­ta­tion Branch. He told me fas­ci­nat­ing sto­ries of how South African mil­i­tary intel­li­gence col­lab­o­rat­ed with the CIA, how the Israelis helped South Africa acquire the nuclear bomb – but not much of val­ue for the Palme case.

    After our last meet­ing, I called him and said that he, more than any­one, was in a posi­tion to help solve the Palme case. I men­tioned the 50 mil­lion Swedish kro­na (£4.25m) reward and pre­sent­ed the idea of a deal in which Swe­den would give immu­ni­ty from pros­e­cu­tion and South Africa would con­vince any of its cit­i­zens involved in the assas­si­na­tion to come clean.

    The next day, an employ­ee of South African mil­i­tary intel­li­gence called me and invit­ed me to a meet­ing with a gen­er­al in the covert sec­tion (I will not name him but lat­er ver­i­fied his iden­ti­ty).

    I was instruct­ed to go to the Hyatt hotel in Sand­ton, Johan­nes­burg on 1 Octo­ber, 2015. From there I was escort­ed to an almost emp­ty restau­rant near­by where I met the gen­er­al.

    He went straight to the heart of the mat­ter, giv­ing me the names of those he said were involved in Palme’s death – and told me that South Africa was will­ing to help Swe­den get to the truth.

    In return, South Africa was hop­ing for stronger rela­tions with Swe­den. A con­di­tion for such a deal would be immu­ni­ty from pros­e­cu­tion for all those who act­ed on the orders of the for­mer South African gov­ern­ment.

    He hint­ed that the motive could have been both polit­i­cal (Palme and Swe­den sup­port­ed the ANC) but also eco­nom­ic, although he didn’t elab­o­rate. He said South African mil­i­tary intel­li­gence was will­ing to start a dis­cus­sion, but only with its Swedish coun­ter­parts – politi­cians and the media were to be exclud­ed from the dia­logue.

    I said that the whole point of the ini­tia­tive would be to final­ly go pub­lic so that the Palme fam­i­ly and the Swedish peo­ple could get clo­sure. After an intense dis­cus­sion, we agreed to let the intel­li­gence agen­cies ini­ti­ate the dis­cus­sion and then take it from there.

    The gen­er­al was aston­ished that I was inves­ti­gat­ing the Palme mur­der as a hob­by. He stressed that I was tak­ing huge risks and that the oper­a­tors would sim­ply kill me if they felt threat­ened.

    In Novem­ber 2015, I hand­ed over the mate­r­i­al to Swedish nation­al intel­li­gence (Säpo), which in turn passed it to the police unit inves­ti­gat­ing Palme’s death.

    For the next two and a half years, I heard noth­ing more, and in April 2018, I sought a meet­ing with the new pros­e­cu­tor for the Palme case, Kris­ter Peters­son. I told him my sto­ry and was pleased to note that he already knew about it.

    Not only that, Peters­son asked me to let the MI gen­er­al know that he was will­ing to go to South Africa and meet him.

    I was nev­er able to re-estab­lish con­tact with the South African gen­er­al but in June 2018 I suc­ceed­ed in deliv­er­ing the mes­sage to MI through anoth­er con­tact. Again, there was silence – until a few weeks ago, when an intel­li­gence source in South Africa informed me that a meet­ing between rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the two gov­ern­ments had tak­en place in Pre­to­ria on 18 March to dis­cuss the Palme case.

    In an ordi­nary legal case in Swe­den, immu­ni­ty against pros­e­cu­tion would be unthink­able. But the Olof Palme assas­si­na­tion case is unique.

    That’s why I hope the Swedish author­i­ties can make an excep­tion – pro­vid­ed of course that those respon­si­ble for the assas­si­na­tion come for­ward. I think it would be a respectable ges­ture by them to help the Swedish peo­ple get clo­sure.

    ...

    Göran Björk­dahl is a pro­gramme man­ag­er in envi­ron­ment for the Swedish Inter­na­tion­al Devel­op­ment coop­er­a­tion Agency at the Embassy of Swe­den in Burk­i­na Faso, where he’s also the coach of the Burk­i­na Faso nation­al floor­ball (innebandy) teams, vice-cham­pi­ons of Africa

    ————–

    “South Africa may hold the answer to who mur­dered Olof Palme” by Göran Björk­dahl; The Guardian; 06/08/2020

    “I was nev­er able to re-estab­lish con­tact with the South African gen­er­al but in June 2018 I suc­ceed­ed in deliv­er­ing the mes­sage to MI through anoth­er con­tact. Again, there was silence – until a few weeks ago, when an intel­li­gence source in South Africa informed me that a meet­ing between rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the two gov­ern­ments had tak­en place in Pre­to­ria on 18 March to dis­cuss the Palme case.

    It sounds like plans are already being worked out for for­mal­ly admit­ting South Africa’s mil­i­tary intel­li­gence was behind the killings. That’s some­thing to keep an eye on. Espe­cial­ly giv­en the rather remark­able warn­ing giv­en to Björk­dahl in 2015 from the South African gen­er­al who he met with: that the oper­a­tors behind Palme’s killing would sim­ply mur­der Björk­dahl if they felt threat­ened by his hob­by inves­ti­gat­ing Palme’s mur­der:

    ...
    After our last meet­ing, I called him and said that he, more than any­one, was in a posi­tion to help solve the Palme case. I men­tioned the 50 mil­lion Swedish kro­na (£4.25m) reward and pre­sent­ed the idea of a deal in which Swe­den would give immu­ni­ty from pros­e­cu­tion and South Africa would con­vince any of its cit­i­zens involved in the assas­si­na­tion to come clean.

    The next day, an employ­ee of South African mil­i­tary intel­li­gence called me and invit­ed me to a meet­ing with a gen­er­al in the covert sec­tion (I will not name him but lat­er ver­i­fied his iden­ti­ty).

    I was instruct­ed to go to the Hyatt hotel in Sand­ton, Johan­nes­burg on 1 Octo­ber, 2015. From there I was escort­ed to an almost emp­ty restau­rant near­by where I met the gen­er­al.

    ...

    The gen­er­al was aston­ished that I was inves­ti­gat­ing the Palme mur­der as a hob­by. He stressed that I was tak­ing huge risks and that the oper­a­tors would sim­ply kill me if they felt threat­ened.
    ...

    So at this point it sounds like the peo­ple behind Palme’s mur­der were more than capa­ble and will­ing to mur­der ran­dom peo­ple like Björk­dahl inves­ti­gat­ing the case and the per­son issu­ing this warn­ing is an South African gen­er­al reach­ing out to Björk­dahl to help nego­ti­ate the pub­lic admis­sion of the per­pe­tra­tors. It rais­es the inter­est­ing ques­tion of whether or not the net­work that mur­dered Palme might was pri­mar­i­ly South African gov­ern­ment oper­a­tives or if we’re look­ing at a broad­er inter­na­tion­al far right white suprema­cist net­work that was work­ing with the apartheid gov­ern­ment. We’ll see. At least hope­ful­ly we’ll see, assum­ing these nego­ti­a­tions between Swe­den and South Africa pan out.

    And if we don’t hear about some big new rev­e­la­tion in the case at some point that rais­es the ques­tion of what went wrong in those nego­ti­a­tions. Were the Swedish offi­cials unwill­ing to improve rela­tions to the extent South Africa wants? Or per­haps Swe­den won’t be will­ing to give request amnesty to accused fig­ures. There’s a range of pos­si­bil­i­ties that could derail these nego­ti­a­tions. But as the fol­low­ing arti­cle from last year reminds us, one big rea­son for the poten­tial fail­ure of the nego­ti­a­tions could be that the rev­e­la­tion would be some­thing Swedish soci­ety real­ly does­n’t want to hear because it was a plot between South African spies and far right Swedes in law enforce­ment:

    The Guardian

    Who killed the prime min­is­ter? The unsolved mur­der that still haunts Swe­den

    Three decades ago, Olof Palme was assas­si­nat­ed on Stockholm’s busiest street. The killer has nev­er been found. Could the dis­cov­ery of new evi­dence final­ly close the case?

    By Imo­gen West-Knights
    Thu 16 May 2019 01.00 EDT

    On the last night of Feb­ru­ary 1986, the Swedish prime min­is­ter Olof Palme and his wife, Lis­bet, were strolling home through down­town Stock­holm. They had tak­en an impromp­tu trip to the cin­e­ma and decid­ed, as they often did, not to bring body­guards. Palme made a point of liv­ing as much as pos­si­ble like an ordi­nary per­son; he did not want the fact that he was run­ning the coun­try to come between him and his coun­try­men. “You saw him in the streets all the time,” says the Swedish eth­nol­o­gist Jonas Eng­man. “You could speak to him. There was an inti­ma­cy to it.”

    At 11.21pm, as the cou­ple walked down Sveavä­gen, one of Stockholm’s busiest streets, a tall man in a dark coat walked up behind them. The man put one hand on Palme’s shoul­der, and with his oth­er hand fired a sin­gle round from a gun into the prime minister’s back. He grazed Lis­bet with a sec­ond bul­let before flee­ing up a flight of 89 steps that links the main street with a par­al­lel road above.

    It was a Fri­day, and Sveavä­gen was packed with peo­ple ambling between bars and restau­rants. Bystanders rushed to try to revive Palme, who now lay on the pave­ment in an expand­ing pool of blood. Six min­utes lat­er, he was tak­en to the near­est hos­pi­tal, where, short­ly after mid­night, he was offi­cial­ly declared dead. It was lat­er deter­mined that the bul­let had sev­ered his spinal cord and that he had died before hit­ting the ground.

    Although more than 20 wit­ness­es saw the gun­man, these facts are still more or less every­thing that the pub­lic knows for cer­tain about the killing of the most con­tro­ver­sial leader in Sweden’s mod­ern his­to­ry.

    To his fel­low coun­try­men, Palme was more than a politi­cian. For more than 16 years, he had led Sweden’s left­wing Social Demo­c­ra­t­ic par­ty, which was in pow­er for much of the 20th cen­tu­ry. The par­ty was respon­si­ble for many of the poli­cies that peo­ple typ­i­cal­ly asso­ciate with Swe­den, includ­ing high tax­es and a robust social wel­fare sys­tem. Palme had come to embody not only the par­ty, but these val­ues, too.

    For this, Palme was loved by many – his pre­de­ces­sor Tage Erlan­der called him “the great­est polit­i­cal tal­ent Swe­den has seen this cen­tu­ry” – and despised by oth­ers. He was dis­trust­ed by some on the left for being from aris­to­crat­ic stock, and dis­trust­ed by aris­to­crats for being a class trai­tor. Para­noid cor­ners of the Swedish right made wild alle­ga­tions that he was a Sovi­et spy. Con­tra, a pop­u­lar con­ser­v­a­tive mag­a­zine, sold dart­boards fea­tur­ing a car­i­ca­ture of his face. On the night of the killing, when word of Palme’s death reached Claes Löf­gren, a jour­nal­ist for the Swedish nation­al broad­cast­er SVT, he was in a restau­rant. When they heard the news, Löf­gren told me, some peo­ple in the restau­rant cheered and toast­ed. To Swedes of all polit­i­cal per­sua­sions, the sym­bol­ism of Palme’s assas­si­na­tion was clear: it was as if the killer want­ed to destroy the idea of mod­ern Swe­den itself.

    Fol­low­ing Palme’s death, the coun­try was cast first into tur­moil and then into con­fu­sion. Over the past three decades, one chief inves­ti­ga­tor after anoth­er has failed to solve the case, and today the offi­cial inquiry remains open. In 2010, Swe­den removed the statute of lim­i­ta­tions on mur­ders, specif­i­cal­ly so that inves­ti­ga­tors could con­tin­ue their search for Palme’s killer for as long as it takes. More than 10,000 peo­ple have been ques­tioned in the case, whose files now take up more than 250 metres of shelf space in Sweden’s nation­al police head­quar­ters. It is the largest active mur­der inves­ti­ga­tion archive in the world.

    The mys­tery of Palme’s death has become a nation­al obses­sion. “One of my ear­li­est mem­o­ries is of my par­ents dis­cussing who killed Palme,” a friend I met while liv­ing in Swe­den for the past cou­ple of years told me. “I can’t describe to you how deep this is in the Swedish soul.” The mur­der has inspired films, plays and music, and has even been cit­ed as a fac­tor in the world­wide explo­sion of Scan­di­na­vian crime fic­tion. A num­ber of Swedish ama­teur detec­tives have devot­ed much of their lives to solv­ing the case. Inves­ti­gat­ing it has led some of them to break the law and dri­ven oth­ers to some­thing approach­ing mad­ness.

    Some Swedes call this Palmessjuk­dom – “Palme sick­ness”. More than 130 peo­ple have false­ly con­fessed to the crime. “Swedes are breast­fed with the idea of this hor­ri­ble trau­ma,” Måns Måns­son, a direc­tor who made a film about the mur­der, said. “It’s gen­uine­ly hard to let go.”

    Every unsolved crime cre­ates a vac­u­um that peo­ple fill with their own the­o­ries, but there are few cas­es in the world for which this has been more true than the killing of Palme. He had many ene­mies, and his death lends itself eas­i­ly to con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries. Palme so divid­ed opin­ion that the detec­tive Lennart Gustafs­son, who worked on the case from 1986 to 2016, told a reporter in 2012 that “you could sus­pect half the Swedish pop­u­la­tion”.

    One of Palme’s sons, Joakim, who is now a polit­i­cal sci­en­tist at Upp­sala uni­ver­si­ty, told me that many of the con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries are far from base­less. “You can come up with not only one or two but a hand­ful of dif­fer­ent, more or less cred­i­ble sce­nar­ios for an organ­ised assas­si­na­tion,” he said. When he died in 2004, the crime nov­el­ist Stieg Lars­son was work­ing on a the­o­ry of the case involv­ing an inter­na­tion­al con­spir­a­cy that is now being seri­ous­ly inves­ti­gat­ed by Swedish police.

    Although there have been false dawns before, there is rea­son to be hope­ful that the case may soon reach its con­clu­sion. In Feb­ru­ary of this year, the lat­est lead inves­ti­ga­tor appeared on Swedish tele­vi­sion and, with aston­ish­ing con­fi­dence, promised to give the pub­lic a solu­tion with­in the next few years. Cau­tion is advis­able; this pos­si­bil­i­ty has been teased many times before. But police have con­firmed that they are inter­view­ing new sub­jects and test­ing new phys­i­cal evi­dence for the first time in many years. After 33 years, mod­ern Sweden’s defin­ing dra­ma may be com­ing to an end.

    From the moment when the first emer­gency call was made after the shoot­ing, Swe­den was thrown into chaos. Record­ings of ear­ly con­ver­sa­tions between police head­quar­ters, offi­cers at the scene of Palme’s shoot­ing and staff at the hos­pi­tal are most­ly expres­sions of dis­be­lief. “What? No! Our prime min­is­ter?” one police offi­cer asks. “There’s total con­fu­sion here,” anoth­er per­son says. “Is it real­ly Olof Palme who’s been shot?”

    Leif Brännström was report­ing for the nation­al news­pa­per Expressen that night. He remem­bers call­ing the head of the city police for con­fir­ma­tion of rumours that Palme had died. “He screamed some­thing at me and imme­di­ate­ly hung up,” Brännström told me.

    On Sveavä­gen, where the shoot­ing occurred, shock seemed to have tak­en over. Police failed to cor­don off the crime scene prop­er­ly, cov­er­ing too small an area. One of the bul­lets was not found until two days lat­er, when it was picked up from the pave­ment by a passer­by. Mourn­ers arriv­ing in the hours after Palme’s death slipped past the tape to place flow­ers near the pool of blood; by tram­pling the crime scene, they ren­dered future search­es for the killer’s foot­prints use­less. Key wit­ness­es were allowed to leave the scene with­out being inter­viewed. Löf­gren, the broad­cast jour­nal­ist, was out in the area that night and hailed a cab to take him home. The dri­ver had wit­nessed the killing but had not been ques­tioned, Löf­gren recalled with dis­be­lief. “I phoned the police and said: ‘This guy here claims that he was a wit­ness to the mur­der, and he’s still out dri­ving a cab?!’”

    Oth­er pro­to­cols were ignored or for­got­ten. The Stock­holm police have a sys­tem for search­ing the inner city street by street, but it was nev­er deployed. Squads of police tore around look­ing for the gun­man, but had almost no infor­ma­tion about what he might look like. Trains, fer­ries and flights con­tin­ued as nor­mal, while the roads and bridges out of the city remained open for hours after the mur­der. At that stage, it seemed as if nobody was real­ly in charge. It was “sports week”, a hol­i­day when many Stock­holmers head for the moun­tains. Hans Holmér, the chief con­sta­ble of Stock­holm coun­ty police, was ski­ing in the north coun­try with his mis­tress.

    Holmér had nev­er con­duct­ed a mur­der inquiry before, but when he got the news ear­ly the fol­low­ing morn­ing, he rushed back to the city and took charge of the inves­ti­ga­tion. He looked the part, at least, with a crag­gy face, hard-boiled demeanour and a strong line in leather jack­ets. From his first tele­vi­sion appear­ance, he played the role of the hero that the hor­ri­fied nation could rely on. The pub­lic soon flood­ed his office with bou­quets and choco­lates, and news­pa­pers hailed him as Sweden’s Clint East­wood.

    In the days and weeks that fol­lowed, the coun­try strug­gled to come to terms with what had hap­pened. “It was almost lit­er­al­ly incred­i­ble, it was some­thing that com­plete­ly couldn’t hap­pen in nice, safe, con­trolled Swe­den,” the jour­nal­ist Andrew Brown, who lived in Swe­den for many years, told me. “You might as well have asked them to defend the prime min­is­ter against pigs falling from bal­conies.” The last mur­der of a Swedish gov­ern­ment offi­cial was in 1792, when King Gus­tav III was shot by assas­sins at a masked ball. When the on-air DJ at the nation­al radio broad­cast­er found out about Palme’s death, he was at a loss for what to do, the author Jan Bon­de­s­on writes in his book Blood on the Snow: The Killing of Olof Palme. The only emer­gency pro­to­col was to break open a small glass box in the stu­dio marked KD for “the King is Dead”. It con­tained a cas­sette tape of som­bre clas­si­cal music.

    Despite his pop­u­lar­i­ty, Holmér seemed out of his depth, too. One of his first steps was to release a com­pos­ite image of a sus­pect who had been seen run­ning near the site of the mur­der. But gaps between sup­posed sight­ings of the flee­ing killer meant no one could be sure the man in the sketch was in fact the killer. Nev­er­the­less, the image of the sus­pect, a Nordic-look­ing man with a long nose and thin lips, who the Swedish press dubbed “the Phan­tom”, ran in every news­pa­per in the coun­try. Over the next few days, the tele­phone exchange at Stockholm’s police head­quar­ters was brought down by the vol­ume of calls it received. More than 8,000 tips flood­ed in about neigh­bours and acquain­tances who resem­bled the Phan­tom.

    Sev­en­teen days after the mur­der, the first sus­pect was brought into cus­tody. He had links to rightwing groups that believed Palme was an under­cov­er KGB agent, but was quick­ly released due to lack of evi­dence. By that point, Holmér had begun to fix­ate on an alter­na­tive the­o­ry: that mem­bers of the mil­i­tant Kur­dis­tan Work­ers’ par­ty, or PKK, had assas­si­nat­ed the prime min­is­ter. The group, which had an out­post in Stock­holm, had recent­ly been declared a ter­ror­ist organ­i­sa­tion by Palme’s gov­ern­ment. But the only oth­er thing to rec­om­mend the the­o­ry seemed to be that the PKK was easy to scape­goat. There was vir­tu­al­ly no evi­dence against the group.

    Holmér was so caught up in the the­o­ry that he didn’t seem to care about the lack of evi­dence. In ear­ly 1987, after inves­ti­gat­ing the PKK for almost a year, police raid­ed a Stock­holm book­shop that served as a base for the group and arrest­ed 50 of its mem­bers. But the raid pro­duced noth­ing of val­ue to the inves­ti­ga­tion. News­pa­pers turned on Holmér for this fail­ure, run­ning head­lines such as “Holmér must go” and com­par­ing him to Inspec­tor Clouse­au from the Pink Pan­ther. On 5 March, Holmér resigned in dis­grace. An offi­cial inquiry into the first year of the inves­ti­ga­tion lat­er con­clud­ed that it was “char­ac­terised by alarm­ing aim­less­ness and con­fu­sion”.

    Things only got more bizarre from there. In secret, Holmér con­tin­ued to pur­sue the PKK the­o­ry as a pri­vate cit­i­zen until 1988, when he and a jour­nal­ist called Ebbe Carls­son were caught try­ing to smug­gle ille­gal wire­tap­ping equip­ment into Swe­den in order to keep sur­veilling mem­bers of the group. It was a nation­al scan­dal – the country’s erst­while hero break­ing the law to inves­ti­gate a dis­cred­it­ed the­o­ry of the prime minister’s assas­si­na­tion – even before it was dis­cov­ered that the min­is­ter for jus­tice at the time, Anna-Gre­ta Lei­jon, was also in on the scheme.

    In 1988, the Swedish police appoint­ed a new chief inves­ti­ga­tor who went back to a lead that had been dropped by Holmér dur­ing the Kur­dish deba­cle: a man behav­ing sus­pi­cious­ly on the night of the mur­der near the cin­e­ma where the Palmes had been. There was also a poten­tial sus­pect, Chris­ter Pet­ters­son, who matched this man’s descrip­tion. Three acquain­tances had come for­ward to say that Pet­ters­son, who often hung around Sveavä­gen, was cer­tain­ly capa­ble of mur­der: he had spent time in prison for ran­dom­ly stab­bing some­one to death with a bay­o­net.

    If Holmér had looked like a sto­ry­book hero, Pet­ters­son was a sto­ry­book vil­lain, with a strong brow, down­turned mouth and wild eyes. Although he had no evi­dent motive, police took him into cus­tody on 14 Decem­ber 1988. That same night, Lis­bet Palme watched a video line-up that includ­ed Pet­ters­son and iden­ti­fied him as her husband’s killer. Pet­ters­son main­tained his inno­cence and there was no foren­sic evi­dence link­ing him to the crime scene. But on the strength of Lisbet’s iden­ti­fi­ca­tion, in July 1989, after a sev­en-week tri­al, he was con­vict­ed and sen­tenced to life in prison. For a moment, it seemed that this nation­al trau­ma was over.

    But Pettersson’s lawyers imme­di­ate­ly appealed against the deci­sion. They demon­strat­ed that police had told Lis­bet before the line-up that the sus­pect was a heavy drinker. She had iden­ti­fied Pet­ters­son by say­ing “No 8 match­es my descrip­tion” and then, cru­cial­ly, “you can see who is the alco­holic”. Pet­ters­son was released in Octo­ber 1989. A now icon­ic pho­to­graph shows him return­ing to his apart­ment, clutch­ing bot­tles of vod­ka and Bailey’s Irish cream, as if to show the pub­lic how he intend­ed to spend his free­dom, and the £38,000 he had been award­ed in com­pen­sa­tion for his wrong­ful arrest. A cock­tail of Bailey’s and vod­ka sub­se­quent­ly became pop­u­lar in Stock­holm bars. It was called The Killer.

    Pet­ters­son didn’t dis­ap­pear from pub­lic life. In the years after his release, he charged news­pa­pers and TV sta­tions large sums for inter­views in which he was bait­ed and bribed for a con­fes­sion. He hint­ed at the pos­si­bil­i­ty he was guilty, but nev­er con­fessed. He died in 2004. If he did kill the prime min­is­ter – which many Swedes con­tin­ued to believe – he took the secret to his grave.

    By the start of the 1990s, so much time and mon­ey had been spent fruit­less­ly pur­su­ing Pet­ters­son and the PKK that basic ques­tions about the night of the mur­der remained unan­swered. Where was the mur­der weapon, which was believed to be a Smith & Wes­son .357 mag­num revolver? Why were wit­ness reports of men with walkie talkies near the site of the killing not tak­en seri­ous­ly? Was the police incom­pe­tence too extreme to be acci­den­tal?

    Over the next two decades, the offi­cial inves­ti­ga­tion floun­dered. Although at least four dif­fer­ent lead inves­ti­ga­tors took over the case between 1988 and 2013, not a sin­gle cred­i­ble sus­pect was tak­en into cus­tody. When I asked Måns Måns­son, the film direc­tor, how the offi­cial Palme inves­ti­ga­tion is per­ceived these days, he laughed and said: “A hor­ri­ble, mis­er­able fail­ure.”

    Into the void opened up by the lack of offi­cial progress flowed a stream of ama­teur inves­ti­ga­tors pur­su­ing their own solu­tions to the case. No detail about Palme’s life or death, no coin­ci­dence or incon­sis­ten­cy proved too small a foun­da­tion on which to build one con­spir­a­cy the­o­ry or anoth­er.

    No the­o­ry was too out­landish: Palme’s wife killed him because of his ser­i­al infi­deli­ties. The peo­ple who killed Palme are the same ones who killed JFK. It was fem­i­nists in cahoots with Sci­en­tol­o­gists. It was a planned sui­cide and the trig­ger was pulled by Palme’s son Mårten. No, the entire mur­der was staged. Or maybe the gun­man was the Russ­ian film-mak­er Andrei Tarkovsky, who had met with Palme in 1984 to ask for help get­ting his own son out of the USSR: Tarkovsky’s 1986 film The Sac­ri­fice con­tains a scene shot at the cor­ner where Palme was gunned down. “These are most­ly made up by sick peo­ple,” Mårten told the New York Times in 1998, refer­ring to the con­spir­a­cy the­o­rists fix­at­ed on his father’s death. “I’ve had some of them call and apol­o­gise to me after they received med­ica­tion and got bet­ter.”

    Some the­o­ries, includ­ing sev­er­al that appear more cred­i­ble, came from com­mit­ted Palme obses­sives known as pri­vatspanar­na, or pri­vate detec­tives. These are peo­ple who have devot­ed sig­nif­i­cant chunks of their lives to find­ing a solu­tion to the case. The first pri­vatspanar­na emerged in the wake of Holmér’s failed raid on the PKK, and were some­times accused of harass­ing wit­ness­es and inter­fer­ing with the offi­cial inves­ti­ga­tion. Many used live re-enact­ments at the scene of the mur­der as an inves­tiga­tive tool. Måns­son recent­ly described these reen­act­ments to a reporter as a “mix between seance and cer­e­mo­ny … one of the strangest things I’ve ever expe­ri­enced.” At one meet­ing of pri­vatspanar­na in 1998, Chris­ter Pet­ters­son report­ed­ly showed up. He drank sev­er­al rum and Cokes, claimed Palme was killed by a group of rightwing Ital­ian freema­sons with links to the mafia, told sex jokes and left.

    Over the years, pri­vatspanar­na have ranged from seri­ous inves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ists to crack­pots. Some have become pro­fes­sion­al con­spir­a­cy the­o­rists, fuelling a cot­tage indus­try of Palme mania. The well-known jour­nal­ist Sven Anér pub­lished five books about the case between 1988 and his death in 2018. The pri­vatspanar­na are also pre­dom­i­nant­ly men. Per­haps it’s “a male thing to think you alone can solve the case giv­en the biggest police resources in Swedish his­to­ry”, Stephanie Thögersen, a pol­i­cy offi­cer at the Swedish Women’s Lob­by, told me.

    One rea­son the mur­der still has such a hold on Swedes is that Palme was the nation’s first real polit­i­cal celebri­ty. “He was quite unusu­al for a Swedish politi­cian at the time because he was out­spo­ken, he was polem­i­cal, a hard hit­ter,” his biog­ra­ph­er Hen­rik Berggren told me. “He sought con­flict.” Hen­ry Kissinger, whose polit­i­cal views could hard­ly have diverged fur­ther from Palme’s, once said “many polit­i­cal lead­ers are real­ly bor­ing except for the office they hold. That was not true of Palme.”

    The past decade has seen a boom in Pal­mol­o­gy, espe­cial­ly among peo­ple who weren’t yet born in 1986, or were too young to fol­low the investigation’s ear­ly years. This is part­ly because of 25th and 30th anniver­sary cov­er­age in the Swedish media, and part­ly because new inves­ti­ga­tors were appoint­ed in 2013 and 2016. “It goes in waves,” says Jan Stock­las­sa, a jour­nal­ist and author of a 2018 book on the Palme mur­der, The Man Who Played with Fire, which will be pub­lished in Eng­lish in Octo­ber. “And I would say that now we’re at a sort of a peak.”

    One of the most pop­u­lar new venues for this obses­sion is pri­vatspanar­na (“The Palme Mur­der”), a pod­cast explor­ing the ins and outs of the case, which runs to 3 episodes and count­ing. The host, Dan Hörn­ing, also organ­is­es Palme walks on the aniver­sary of the killing. He and his lis­ten­ers walk Palme’s last route, arriv­ing at the mur­der site at the exact minute when Palme was killed. Schi­affi­no Musar­ra, who is mak­ing a tele­vi­sion series about try­ing to solve the Palme mur­der, has been on a cou­ple of these walks. “It’s fun,” he told me. “We go to a Mon­go­lian bar­be­cue place, too.”

    Many pri­vatspanar­na are still hard at work. Some of the more seri­ous ones have recent­ly found­ed a group called San­ningskom­mis­sion, or The Truth Com­mis­sion. These peo­ple have been inde­pen­dent­ly inves­ti­gat­ing the case for years, and began to pool their resources in 2016. “Our pri­ma­ry mis­sion is to col­lect and pass on anony­mous tips – either to the police or to jour­nal­ists,” the group’s chair­man, Sven-Åke Öster­berg, told me. “Some peo­ple might not be inclined to speak with the police, then we are a secure alter­na­tive.”

    Solv­ing the case is still of para­mount impor­tance to Swe­den, Öster­berg said. A San­ningskom­mis­sion press release rather bom­bas­ti­cal­ly claims that “this mur­der must be set­tled for the cred­i­bil­i­ty and sur­vival of our demo­c­ra­t­ic soci­ety”. To oth­er pri­vate inves­ti­ga­tors, how­ev­er, the unsolved case is less of a press­ing threat to Sweden’s democ­ra­cy and more of an intel­lec­tu­al chal­lenge. Louise Drangel, a long-time pri­vatspanare, likens it to a com­plex Agatha Christie puz­zle. “And you have to be sharp to get all the pieces togeth­er,” she said.

    Recent­ly, the work of some jour­nal­ists and pri­vatspanar­na has begun to yield the­o­ries that are influ­enc­ing the offi­cial police inves­ti­ga­tion. Last sum­mer, a Swedish mag­a­zine called Fil­ter pub­lished the results of a 12-year inves­ti­ga­tion that claimed the assas­sin was a wit­ness in the case named Stig Engström. Engström is bet­ter known in Swe­den as the “Skan­dia man”, because he worked for the Swedish insur­ance giant, which had offices next to the mur­der site.

    Polit­i­cal­ly, Engström was what is known in Swe­den as a mod­er­at – firm­ly to the right of Palme. Thomas Pet­ters­son, the jour­nal­ist who led the mag­a­zine inves­ti­ga­tion, dis­cov­ered that Engström had pre­vi­ous­ly served in the Swedish mil­i­tary. Pet­ters­son alleges that Engström would have had weapons train­ing and access, through a friend with a large firearms col­lec­tion, to the sort of .357 mag­num with which Palme was appar­ent­ly shot. Records from the Skan­dia office show that Engström left the build­ing at 11.19pm, two min­utes before Palme was killed.

    Engström killed him­self in 2000. His wife, who he divorced the pre­vi­ous year, believes he was too much of a cow­ard to assas­si­nate Palme. But she recent­ly told the Expressen news­pa­per that police ques­tioned her twice in 2017. Expressen also report­ed that Thomas Pet­ters­son, the jour­nal­ist behind the inves­ti­ga­tion, has been ques­tioned by police as an expert in the case.

    Police are explor­ing a far more unset­tling the­o­ry, too, which was devel­oped in part by the most famous per­son to become a pri­vatspanare, Stieg Lars­son. In addi­tion to writ­ing the best­selling Mil­len­ni­um tril­o­gy, Lars­son had a long career as an inves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ist. The the­o­ry he was work­ing on when he died of a heart attack in 2004 is that the mur­der was car­ried out by an inter­na­tion­al con­spir­a­cy con­sist­ing of two groups with dif­fer­ent motives but a shared belief that Palme should die.

    The first group was made up of pro-apartheid mem­bers of South Africa’s secu­ri­ty and intel­li­gence ser­vices. Palme was an out­spo­ken oppo­nent of the apartheid regime, and his gov­ern­ment had giv­en mil­lions in human­i­tar­i­an aid to Nel­son Mandela’s African Nation­al Con­gress. The­o­ries about South African involve­ment in his mur­der have cir­cu­lat­ed since the ear­li­est days of the case. They became par­tic­u­lar­ly pop­u­lar in 1996, when a for­mer com­man­der of a South African police hit squad alleged that Palme’s killing was part of Oper­a­tion Long Reach, a top-secret pro­gramme to neu­tralise oppo­si­tion to the apartheid gov­ern­ment at home and abroad. In 1982, mem­bers of this oper­a­tion had killed the anti-apartheid activist Ruth First in Mozam­bique and bombed the ANC’s Lon­don office.

    The sec­ond group Lars­son iden­ti­fied con­sist­ed of rightwing extrem­ists with­in Swe­den, whose net­works Lars­son had been inves­ti­gat­ing even before the Palme killing. One of the men Lars­son believed was involved in the assas­si­na­tion plot was a Swedish mer­ce­nary, Bertil Wedin, who had alleged­ly worked for the South African spy in charge of Oper­a­tion Long Reach. Lars­son claimed that Wedin helped to recruit Palme’s assas­sin, a Swedish extrem­ist. Wedin denies any involve­ment in the case and has nev­er been charged. “I have noth­ing to lose from the truth com­ing out since, luck­i­ly enough, I am not the mur­der­er and had noth­ing to do with it all,” Wedin said in an inter­view pub­lished in the Swedish news­pa­per Sven­s­ka Dag­bladet in 2014. Swedish police inves­ti­ga­tors vis­it­ed South Africa in Octo­ber 1996 and said they were unable to uncov­er evi­dence of this con­spir­a­cy. Jan Stock­las­sa, who car­ried on Larsson’s inves­ti­ga­tion after Larsson’s death, and pub­lished his study of the case in Swedish late last year, told me that he believes the assas­sin is still alive and is present­ly under inves­ti­ga­tion by Swedish police.

    Both of these lines of inquiry – the Skan­dia man and the so-called “South Africa track” – were around in the ear­li­est days of the inves­ti­ga­tion. So why is infor­ma­tion pre­vi­ous­ly unknown to the police still being dis­cov­ered by jour­nal­ists? Here, too, there are mul­ti­ple the­o­ries. In the first 15 years after the mur­der, at least four offi­cial inquests were launched into Hans Holmér’s orig­i­nal inves­ti­ga­tion. The incom­pe­tence of that inves­ti­ga­tion gave rise to the pop­u­lar the­o­ry that Palme was mur­dered by rightwing extrem­ists with­in the police force, of which there were a good num­ber. Holmér him­self was in charge of one par­tic­u­lar­ly fear­some group of plain­clothes police offi­cers who had a rep­u­ta­tion for bru­tal­i­ty and express­ing sup­port for Nazi ide­ol­o­gy.

    Oth­ers believe the prob­lem was that Holmér and sub­se­quent inves­ti­ga­tors were under enor­mous, although unof­fi­cial, pres­sure from the Social Demo­c­ra­t­ic gov­ern­ment to find a solu­tion that would be easy for soci­ety to accept. First, the Kur­dish sep­a­ratists seemed best. Then Chris­ter Pet­ters­son, an alco­holic with a vio­lent his­to­ry – a fig­ure, as the author Jan Bon­de­s­on puts it, “whom no one would have missed”.

    This is the view held by Gun­nar Wall, an inves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ist who has writ­ten sev­er­al books about the Palme mur­der. He told me that a reluc­tance to look at the ugli­er sides of life in their coun­try is a long Swedish tra­di­tion. His­to­ri­ans in Swe­den took a long time to address the fact that osten­si­bly neu­tral Swe­den had trad­ed with the Nazis dur­ing the sec­ond world war, for instance. This same reluc­tance, some think, explains why many in Swe­den were so sur­prised by the recent surge in the elec­toral suc­cess of the far-right Swe­den Democ­rats par­ty, which took near­ly 18% of the vote in the 2018 par­lia­men­tary elec­tion.

    As with almost every­thing in this case, this view – that the inves­ti­ga­tors were look­ing for a palat­able solu­tion – is con­test­ed. Accord­ing to the pri­vatspanare Drangel, the fun­da­men­tal prob­lem with the inves­ti­ga­tion was that Holmér did not know what he was doing. A few years after resign­ing from the police force, Holmér took to writ­ing mod­er­ate­ly suc­cess­ful crime fic­tion about a Stock­holm police­man nick­named “The Flea”. At the time of his death in 2002, he was work­ing on a non-fic­tion book about the Palme mur­der. “He was an admin­is­tra­tor, but he want­ed to be the hero of the coun­try,” Drangel said. “The sim­ple answer is that he was not com­pe­tent.”

    If the unof­fi­cial inves­ti­ga­tions into Palme’s death have gath­ered pace over time, it is only in the past cou­ple of years that the offi­cial Palme inves­ti­ga­tion has tak­en on new life. Unbe­liev­ably, new phys­i­cal evi­dence has sur­faced after 30 years. This April, inves­ti­ga­tors received a walkie-talkie that was alleged­ly found in the vicin­i­ty of the mur­der two days after Palme was killed. It is unclear why the per­son who found the walkie-talkie, who inves­ti­ga­tors pub­licly refer to using a pseu­do­nym, held on to it for so long, or why this per­son decid­ed to hand it in now. If the walkie-talkie is con­nect­ed to Palme’s mur­der, that fact would sug­gest that more than one per­son was involved in a plot to kill the prime min­is­ter. News reports claim that the walkie-talkie’s mouth­piece is being test­ed for DNA.

    The inves­ti­ga­tors are secre­tive, Gun­nar Wall told me. The new lead inves­ti­ga­tor, who took over in 2016, is a man rather improb­a­bly called Kris­ter Peters­son. He did not respond to my requests for com­ment, but when he appeared on the week­ly crime show Veck­ans Brott in Feb­ru­ary, he said that his team of inves­ti­ga­tors is receiv­ing new tips every week. “That’s why I’m opti­mistic and that’s why we’ll be able to solve this crime,” he told the host. “We will be able to tell the Swedish peo­ple what hap­pened – that I am sure of.”

    ...

    Last May, Sweden’s cur­rent prime min­is­ter, Ste­fan Löfven, called the case “an open wound in Swedish soci­ety” and said: “It is extreme­ly impor­tant that this is solved.” The only thing more ter­ri­ble than hav­ing the fig­ure­head of mod­ern Swe­den mur­dered would be for the coun­try nev­er to know what it meant. Arne Ruth, the for­mer edi­tor-in-chief of the news­pa­per Dagens Nyheter, said in 1998 that it was the after­math of res­ig­na­tions and scan­dals, rather than the assas­si­na­tion itself, that haunt­ed the coun­try: “The total fail­ure of the judi­cial sys­tem to han­dle the case was in a way an even worse dis­as­ter for Swe­den.”

    “We know at this point that there is less than a 10% chance to solve the mur­der,” an anony­mous mem­ber of Palme’s staff told the New York Times less than a year after the killing. “That is not our prob­lem. Our prob­lem is what the peo­ple of Swe­den believe hap­pened and how they deal with that.” Three decades on, with­out a per­pe­tra­tor, with­out a motive and with­out a con­vic­tion, that prob­lem con­tin­ues to fes­ter.

    ————-

    “Who killed the prime min­is­ter? The unsolved mur­der that still haunts Swe­den” by Imo­gen West-Knights; The Guardian; 05/16/2019

    “For this, Palme was loved by many – his pre­de­ces­sor Tage Erlan­der called him “the great­est polit­i­cal tal­ent Swe­den has seen this cen­tu­ry” – and despised by oth­ers. He was dis­trust­ed by some on the left for being from aris­to­crat­ic stock, and dis­trust­ed by aris­to­crats for being a class trai­tor. Para­noid cor­ners of the Swedish right made wild alle­ga­tions that he was a Sovi­et spy. Con­tra, a pop­u­lar con­ser­v­a­tive mag­a­zine, sold dart­boards fea­tur­ing a car­i­ca­ture of his face. On the night of the killing, when word of Palme’s death reached Claes Löf­gren, a jour­nal­ist for the Swedish nation­al broad­cast­er SVT, he was in a restau­rant. When they heard the news, Löf­gren told me, some peo­ple in the restau­rant cheered and toast­ed. To Swedes of all polit­i­cal per­sua­sions, the sym­bol­ism of Palme’s assas­si­na­tion was clear: it was as if the killer want­ed to destroy the idea of mod­ern Swe­den itself.

    The mur­der of Olaf Palme was more than just a polit­i­cal assas­si­na­tion. It was like assas­si­nat­ing the idea of mod­ern Swe­den itself. That’s part of why Palme’s assas­si­na­tion still has so much polit­i­cal sig­nif­i­cance decades lat­er. And that’s also why the rev­e­la­tion of South African involve­ment in the assas­si­na­tion could be so incred­i­bly explo­sive to Swedish soci­ety: if South African agents real­ly were involved then there’s a good chance Stieg Lars­son was cor­rect and this real­ly was an inter­na­tion­al con­spir­a­cy involv­ing far right Nazi-sym­pa­thiz­ing ele­ments of Swedish law enforce­ment. It’s also a the­o­ry that would explain the incred­i­ble bungling of this inves­ti­ga­tion start­ing from the destruc­tion of crime scene evi­dence:

    ...
    One of Palme’s sons, Joakim, who is now a polit­i­cal sci­en­tist at Upp­sala uni­ver­si­ty, told me that many of the con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries are far from base­less. “You can come up with not only one or two but a hand­ful of dif­fer­ent, more or less cred­i­ble sce­nar­ios for an organ­ised assas­si­na­tion,” he said. When he died in 2004, the crime nov­el­ist Stieg Lars­son was work­ing on a the­o­ry of the case involv­ing an inter­na­tion­al con­spir­a­cy that is now being seri­ous­ly inves­ti­gat­ed by Swedish police.

    ...

    On Sveavä­gen, where the shoot­ing occurred, shock seemed to have tak­en over. Police failed to cor­don off the crime scene prop­er­ly, cov­er­ing too small an area. One of the bul­lets was not found until two days lat­er, when it was picked up from the pave­ment by a passer­by. Mourn­ers arriv­ing in the hours after Palme’s death slipped past the tape to place flow­ers near the pool of blood; by tram­pling the crime scene, they ren­dered future search­es for the killer’s foot­prints use­less. Key wit­ness­es were allowed to leave the scene with­out being inter­viewed. Löf­gren, the broad­cast jour­nal­ist, was out in the area that night and hailed a cab to take him home. The dri­ver had wit­nessed the killing but had not been ques­tioned, Löf­gren recalled with dis­be­lief. “I phoned the police and said: ‘This guy here claims that he was a wit­ness to the mur­der, and he’s still out dri­ving a cab?!’”

    Oth­er pro­to­cols were ignored or for­got­ten. The Stock­holm police have a sys­tem for search­ing the inner city street by street, but it was nev­er deployed. Squads of police tore around look­ing for the gun­man, but had almost no infor­ma­tion about what he might look like. Trains, fer­ries and flights con­tin­ued as nor­mal, while the roads and bridges out of the city remained open for hours after the mur­der. At that stage, it seemed as if nobody was real­ly in charge. It was “sports week”, a hol­i­day when many Stock­holmers head for the moun­tains. Hans Holmér, the chief con­sta­ble of Stock­holm coun­ty police, was ski­ing in the north coun­try with his mis­tress.

    ...

    Police are explor­ing a far more unset­tling the­o­ry, too, which was devel­oped in part by the most famous per­son to become a pri­vatspanare, Stieg Lars­son. In addi­tion to writ­ing the best­selling Mil­len­ni­um tril­o­gy, Lars­son had a long career as an inves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ist. The the­o­ry he was work­ing on when he died of a heart attack in 2004 is that the mur­der was car­ried out by an inter­na­tion­al con­spir­a­cy con­sist­ing of two groups with dif­fer­ent motives but a shared belief that Palme should die.

    The first group was made up of pro-apartheid mem­bers of South Africa’s secu­ri­ty and intel­li­gence ser­vices. Palme was an out­spo­ken oppo­nent of the apartheid regime, and his gov­ern­ment had giv­en mil­lions in human­i­tar­i­an aid to Nel­son Mandela’s African Nation­al Con­gress. The­o­ries about South African involve­ment in his mur­der have cir­cu­lat­ed since the ear­li­est days of the case. They became par­tic­u­lar­ly pop­u­lar in 1996, when a for­mer com­man­der of a South African police hit squad alleged that Palme’s killing was part of Oper­a­tion Long Reach, a top-secret pro­gramme to neu­tralise oppo­si­tion to the apartheid gov­ern­ment at home and abroad. In 1982, mem­bers of this oper­a­tion had killed the anti-apartheid activist Ruth First in Mozam­bique and bombed the ANC’s Lon­don office.

    The sec­ond group Lars­son iden­ti­fied con­sist­ed of rightwing extrem­ists with­in Swe­den, whose net­works Lars­son had been inves­ti­gat­ing even before the Palme killing. One of the men Lars­son believed was involved in the assas­si­na­tion plot was a Swedish mer­ce­nary, Bertil Wedin, who had alleged­ly worked for the South African spy in charge of Oper­a­tion Long Reach. Lars­son claimed that Wedin helped to recruit Palme’s assas­sin, a Swedish extrem­ist. Wedin denies any involve­ment in the case and has nev­er been charged. “I have noth­ing to lose from the truth com­ing out since, luck­i­ly enough, I am not the mur­der­er and had noth­ing to do with it all,” Wedin said in an inter­view pub­lished in the Swedish news­pa­per Sven­s­ka Dag­bladet in 2014. Swedish police inves­ti­ga­tors vis­it­ed South Africa in Octo­ber 1996 and said they were unable to uncov­er evi­dence of this con­spir­a­cy. Jan Stock­las­sa, who car­ried on Larsson’s inves­ti­ga­tion after Larsson’s death, and pub­lished his study of the case in Swedish late last year, told me that he believes the assas­sin is still alive and is present­ly under inves­ti­ga­tion by Swedish police.

    Both of these lines of inquiry – the Skan­dia man and the so-called “South Africa track” – were around in the ear­li­est days of the inves­ti­ga­tion. So why is infor­ma­tion pre­vi­ous­ly unknown to the police still being dis­cov­ered by jour­nal­ists? Here, too, there are mul­ti­ple the­o­ries. In the first 15 years after the mur­der, at least four offi­cial inquests were launched into Hans Holmér’s orig­i­nal inves­ti­ga­tion. The incom­pe­tence of that inves­ti­ga­tion gave rise to the pop­u­lar the­o­ry that Palme was mur­dered by rightwing extrem­ists with­in the police force, of which there were a good num­ber. Holmér him­self was in charge of one par­tic­u­lar­ly fear­some group of plain­clothes police offi­cers who had a rep­u­ta­tion for bru­tal­i­ty and express­ing sup­port for Nazi ide­ol­o­gy.

    Oth­ers believe the prob­lem was that Holmér and sub­se­quent inves­ti­ga­tors were under enor­mous, although unof­fi­cial, pres­sure from the Social Demo­c­ra­t­ic gov­ern­ment to find a solu­tion that would be easy for soci­ety to accept. First, the Kur­dish sep­a­ratists seemed best. Then Chris­ter Pet­ters­son, an alco­holic with a vio­lent his­to­ry – a fig­ure, as the author Jan Bon­de­s­on puts it, “whom no one would have missed”.

    This is the view held by Gun­nar Wall, an inves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ist who has writ­ten sev­er­al books about the Palme mur­der. He told me that a reluc­tance to look at the ugli­er sides of life in their coun­try is a long Swedish tra­di­tion. His­to­ri­ans in Swe­den took a long time to address the fact that osten­si­bly neu­tral Swe­den had trad­ed with the Nazis dur­ing the sec­ond world war, for instance. This same reluc­tance, some think, explains why many in Swe­den were so sur­prised by the recent surge in the elec­toral suc­cess of the far-right Swe­den Democ­rats par­ty, which took near­ly 18% of the vote in the 2018 par­lia­men­tary elec­tion.
    ...

    And that’s all part of what makes this report about a pos­si­ble deal between South Africa and Swe­den so fas­ci­nat­ing: if South Africa’s gov­ern­ment real­ly was behind the assas­si­na­tion of Olaf Palme Swe­den’s gov­ern­ment prob­a­bly was too.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | June 9, 2020, 2:22 pm
  9. Well, it appears the assas­si­na­tion of Olof Palme has offi­cial­ly con­clud­ed. Last Fri­day we got reports that Swedish pros­e­cu­tors were plan­ning on mak­ing a big announce­ment in the inves­ti­ga­tion. Then on Mon­day we got that intrigu­ing report in the Guardian by Swedish diplo­mat Göran Björk­dahl who claimed he was con­tact­ed two weeks ago by a South African intel­li­gence source who told him that rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Swe­den and South Africa intel­li­gence agen­cies had met in March to dis­cuss the case. This is at the end of Björk­dahl’s long-run­ning per­son­al inves­ti­ga­tion into the mur­der that put him in touch with a num­ber of South African intel­li­gence con­tacts who claimed to be aware of an South African intel­li­gence tie to the assas­si­na­tion — ties that involved far right Swedish net­works — that they would be will­ing to reveal in exchange for bet­ter rela­tions between the two coun­tries. So did today’s big announce­ment by Swedish pros­e­cu­tors involve an inter­na­tion­al con­spir­a­cy involv­ing South African intel­li­gence agents and the Swedish far right? Of course not. No, instead it was almost exact­ly what any cyn­ic could have eas­i­ly pre­dict­ed: the pros­e­cu­tion has con­clud­ed that a now-deceased man was the killer and because he is deceased the case is now closed and there will be no court case.

    Specif­i­cal­ly, the pros­e­cu­tor, Kris­ter Peters­son, accused Stig Engstrom — a graph­ic design­er at the Skan­dia insur­ance com­pa­ny who was one of the first peo­ple to come across the crime scene — of being the killer based on what he saw as “rea­son­able evi­dence”. So what was this “rea­son­able evi­dence”? Well, the way Peters­son put it, “He has the right tim­ing, the right cloth­ing; he has unique infor­ma­tion, he lied, he had close access to guns of the right type,” and that, “He was right-wing and Palme unfriend­ly.”

    So are pros­e­cu­tors sug­gest­ing the motive for the killing was polit­i­cal by point­ing out that Engstrom was “right-wing and Palme unfriend­ly”? Not exact­ly. Instead, it sounds like they were bas­ing their con­clu­sions heav­i­ly on the work of free­lance jour­nal­ist, Thomas Pet­ters­son who pub­lished a book in 2018 that fin­gered Engstrom as the killed, although pros­e­cu­tors are say­ing they did not base their con­clu­sion on Pet­tersson’s report­ing. But it’s hard to ignore that con­clu­sion. As Pet­ters­son described Engstrom in an inter­view, Engstrom was frus­trat­ed with his lot in life and craved atten­tion. He was 52 at the time and, “He had not advanced at his job...He didn’t get the posi­tions he felt he deserved. No fam­i­ly. No prospects in sight. So he was kind of a dis­ap­point­ed man at that point of his life...But he also had a dri­ve to be recognized...To make some­thing great of him­self. He enjoyed every sec­ond of being in the media.” When direct­ly asked what the motive was dur­ing today’s press con­fer­ence, Kister Peters­son — the pros­e­cu­tor — blunt­ly stat­ed, “He want­ed atten­tion.”

    And what about the South African con­nec­tion or pos­si­bil­i­ty Engstrom was work­ing with a broad­er far right Swedish net­work who want­ed Palme killed? Well, Peters­son acknowl­edges he can’t rule out the pos­si­bil­i­ty that Engstrom was part of a larg­er con­spir­a­cy. And leaves it at that. So that’s how this case is appar­ent­ly going to offi­cial­ly end: with accu­sa­tions against a dead guy who appar­ent­ly did it for atten­tion that effec­tive­ly ends any fur­ther inves­ti­ga­tions into a broad­er con­spir­a­cy:

    The New York Times

    After 34 Years, Swe­den Says It Knows the Killer of Olof Palme
    A pros­e­cu­tor said there was “rea­son­able evi­dence” that the man who shot the Swedish prime min­is­ter was Stig Engstrom, a graph­ic design­er, who took his own life in 2000.

    By Thomas Erd­brink and Christi­na Ander­son
    June 10, 2020
    Updat­ed 10:11 a.m. ET

    Bedev­iled for over 34 years by the mys­te­ri­ous killing of Olof Palme, the Swedish prime min­is­ter who was shot in the back by an unknown assailant on a qui­et Stock­holm street, Sweden’s judi­cia­ry final­ly made its case on Wednes­day.

    At a news con­fer­ence in Stock­holm, the pros­e­cu­tor Kris­ter Peters­son said that there was “rea­son­able evi­dence” that the assailant was Stig Engstrom, a graph­ic design­er at an insur­ance com­pa­ny, who killed him­self in 2000, at the age of 66. He added that only a court could rule on whether Mr. Engstrom was guilty or not, but that since the sus­pect is deceased, there would be no court case.

    But the pros­e­cu­tor said he could not rule out the pos­si­bil­i­ty that Mr. Engstrom had act­ed as part of a larg­er con­spir­a­cy.

    Mr. Palme was killed on a cold Feb­ru­ary night in 1986 after leav­ing a movie the­ater in Stock­holm with his wife, Lis­beth. The assas­si­na­tion shocked Swe­den and evolved into one of the country’s great­est mys­ter­ies.

    He was a lib­er­al, social­ist ide­al­ist who fought against per­ceived injus­tice around the world, earn­ing him a long list of ene­mies, par­tic­u­lar­ly in South Africa, where he was a deter­mined foe of apartheid. At the height of the Cold War, he sought a “third way” between East and West, and he opposed the war in Viet­nam.

    Mr. Peters­son said he had reached his con­clu­sions after an exhaus­tive inves­ti­ga­tion that he com­pared to those of the Kennedy assas­si­na­tion and the down­ing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Locker­bie, Scot­land.

    It was hard­ly a sur­prise, how­ev­er, as the Swedish case was wide­ly con­sid­ered solved in 2018 by a free­lance jour­nal­ist, Thomas Pet­ters­son, whose report­ing led to Mr. Engstrom.

    Mr. Pet­ters­son, the jour­nal­ist, found a link between the killer and a weapons col­lec­tor, a for­mer mil­i­tary man who detest­ed Mr. Palme and his social­ist ideals. Mr. Peters­son, the pros­e­cu­tor, said that in 2017, the police found a weapon at the collector’s house match­ing the one that could have been used in the prime minister’s killing. But offi­cials could not estab­lish defin­i­tive­ly that the gun was the mur­der weapon.

    The pros­e­cu­tor did not name the weapons deal­er, as he is not a sus­pect. He also said the journalist’s find­ings had played no role in the inves­ti­ga­tion. But he allowed that “he came up with the same ideas we have came up with.”

    There has been wide­spread crit­i­cism about the way the Swedish judi­cia­ry and the police have han­dled the case over the past decades. The mys­tery endured through six inves­ti­ga­tions and three com­mis­sions over the years, but Mr. Engstrom elud­ed sus­pi­cion though he had pre­sent­ed him­self to the police as a wit­ness to the killing.

    ...

    It was Mr. Pet­ters­son, a free­lance jour­nal­ist based in Gothen­burg, who dis­cov­ered that Mr. Engstrom had worked in a build­ing near the the­ater where Mr. Palme was shot and had said he was present at the scene.

    The jour­nal­ist also found that Mr. Engstrom had been active in a shoot­ing club, that he had polit­i­cal and pri­vate motives for killing Mr. Palme and that his per­son­al­i­ty matched a police pro­file of the like­ly killer. Mr. Engstrom was 52 at the time of the killing, and was frus­trat­ed with his lot in life.

    “He had not advanced at his job,” Mr. Pet­ters­son said in an inter­view. “He didn’t get the posi­tions he felt he deserved. No fam­i­ly. No prospects in sight. So he was kind of a dis­ap­point­ed man at that point of his life.

    “But he also had a dri­ve to be rec­og­nized,” Mr. Pet­ters­son added. “To make some­thing great of him­self. He enjoyed every sec­ond of being in the media.”

    At the time of the killing, inves­ti­ga­tors were focused on the sus­pect­ed com­plic­i­ty of Kur­dish mil­i­tants, and Mr. Engstrom was not tak­en seri­ous­ly, accord­ing to Mr. Pet­ters­son.

    Mr. Pet­ters­son said he had inves­ti­gat­ed the case for 13 years before con­clud­ing that Mr. Engstrom was the killer.

    “He has the right tim­ing, the right cloth­ing; he has unique infor­ma­tion, he lied, he had close access to guns of the right type,” Mr. Pet­ters­son said. “He was right-wing and Palme unfriend­ly,” he added.

    Mr. Pet­ters­son hand­ed his find­ings to the police in 2017, and they reopened their inves­ti­ga­tion of Mr. Engstrom on the basis of that mate­r­i­al. Mr. Peters­son, the pros­e­cu­tor, led a small team of detec­tives who took DNA from rel­a­tives of Mr. Engstrom, searched his for­mer house and inter­ro­gat­ed sev­er­al peo­ple the police had not heard from before.

    But as with oth­er leads in what is some­times described as one of the world’s longest police inquiries, the find­ings of the jour­nal­ist high­light­ed major blun­ders by the Swedish police.

    From the first minute that fatal evening, mis­takes were made, said Inga-Britt Ahle­nius, a for­mer under sec­re­tary gen­er­al of the Unit­ed Nations, who was a mem­ber of the last of three com­mit­tees scru­ti­niz­ing the police inves­ti­ga­tion.

    “It was a fail­ure from the start,” she said in a phone inter­view. “Every­thing went wrong.”

    The crime scene wasn’t fenced off from the pub­lic, the alarm came late, there was chaos in the sit­u­a­tion room and reports were not prop­er­ly doc­u­ment­ed, she said.

    A year was lost, and Mr. Engstrom was nev­er ques­tioned.

    “When I now read the doc­u­men­ta­tion, he ear­ly on pre­sent­ed him­self as an impor­tant wit­ness,” Ms. Ahle­nius said.

    Mr. Engstrom’s for­mer wife, whom he divorced in 1999, dis­missed the idea of his involve­ment in the killing of the prime min­is­ter.

    “It is out of the ques­tion,” she told the news­pa­per Expressen in 2018. “He was not that kind of per­son, that’s for sure. He was too much of a cow­ard. He wouldn’t harm a fly.” The Swedish news media are not iden­ti­fy­ing her by name.

    A known pet­ty crim­i­nal called Chris­ter Pet­ters­son (no rela­tion to the jour­nal­ist) was jailed for life in 1989 over the assas­si­na­tion, but he won an appeal lat­er that year and died in 2004.

    Mr. Engstrom even tes­ti­fied in defense of Chris­ter Pet­ters­son.

    “In some ways it was a stroke of genius, because Engstrom placed him­self as a wit­ness,” said Mr. Pet­ters­son, the jour­nal­ist. “Each time he told his sto­ry, he estab­lished him­self as a wit­ness and made it more dif­fi­cult for the real wit­ness­es of the crime scene and inves­ti­ga­tors.”

    The case was always a mag­net for con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries, many of them relat­ed to Mr. Palme’s polit­i­cal cre­den­tials as an ide­al­ist who fought for per­ceived vic­tims of injus­tice, par­tic­u­lar­ly in the devel­op­ing world.

    South Africa loomed large in the­o­ries of his killing because Swe­den became a con­duit for clan­des­tine finan­cial sup­port to foes of the white gov­ern­ment in Pre­to­ria. After the col­lapse of apartheid in 1990, a white for­mer secu­ri­ty offi­cer, Col. Eugene de Kock, alleged that an agent of the apartheid gov­ern­ment had mur­dered Mr. Palme because of his stance against racial seg­re­ga­tion.

    But that was only one of many the­o­ries.

    At one time or anoth­er, the killing was linked to a shad­owy arms deal with India, a secre­tive Ital­ian mason­ic lodge and Chilean fas­cists sup­pos­ed­ly tak­ing revenge for Mr. Palme’s oppo­si­tion to Gen. Augus­to Pinochet’s regime.

    In the end, the Swedish judi­cia­ry says, it was all the work of one man, Mr. Engstrom.

    His motive?

    Mr. Pet­ters­son, the jour­nal­ist: “He want­ed atten­tion.”

    ———–

    “After 34 Years, Swe­den Says It Knows the Killer of Olof Palme” by Thomas Erd­brink and Christi­na Ander­son; The New York Times; 06/10/2020

    “Mr. Peters­son said he had reached his con­clu­sions after an exhaus­tive inves­ti­ga­tion that he com­pared to those of the Kennedy assas­si­na­tion and the down­ing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Locker­bie, Scot­land.

    Yeah, unfor­tu­nate­ly liken­ing this case to the JFK assas­si­na­tion or the bomb­ing of Pan Am Flight 103 is becom­ing more and more appro­pri­ate as this plays out. Depress­ing­ly appro­pri­ate, ‘lone nut’ and all. And you have to love how the pros­e­cu­tors are open­ly admit­ting that, yeah, they can’t rule out the pos­si­bil­i­ty that Engstrom was part of a larg­er con­spir­a­cy, but the case is being closed any­way because he’s dead:

    ...
    At a news con­fer­ence in Stock­holm, the pros­e­cu­tor Kris­ter Peters­son said that there was “rea­son­able evi­dence” that the assailant was Stig Engstrom, a graph­ic design­er at an insur­ance com­pa­ny, who killed him­self in 2000, at the age of 66. He added that only a court could rule on whether Mr. Engstrom was guilty or not, but that since the sus­pect is deceased, there would be no court case.

    But the pros­e­cu­tor said he could not rule out the pos­si­bil­i­ty that Mr. Engstrom had act­ed as part of a larg­er con­spir­a­cy.
    ...

    Instead, we are told Engstrom killed Olof Palme pri­mar­i­ly so he could get attention...presumably Engstrom’s plan was to kill Palme and then bask in the glo­ry of being an eye wit­ness under this sce­nario. A sce­nario that seems pret­ty remark­able giv­en that Palme’s wife was grazed by the assas­sins bul­let and Engstrom pro­vid­ed first aide to her and Palme. Ao he would have had a plan to shoot the prime min­is­ter and then play the role of a hero and he did this to make up for being dis­ap­point­ed with his sta­tion in life. It’s a great expla­na­tion if you want to avoid any real inves­ti­ga­tion into a deep­er con­spir­a­cy:

    ...
    It was hard­ly a sur­prise, how­ev­er, as the Swedish case was wide­ly con­sid­ered solved in 2018 by a free­lance jour­nal­ist, Thomas Pet­ters­son, whose report­ing led to Mr. Engstrom.

    Mr. Pet­ters­son, the jour­nal­ist, found a link between the killer and a weapons col­lec­tor, a for­mer mil­i­tary man who detest­ed Mr. Palme and his social­ist ideals. Mr. Peters­son, the pros­e­cu­tor, said that in 2017, the police found a weapon at the collector’s house match­ing the one that could have been used in the prime minister’s killing. But offi­cials could not estab­lish defin­i­tive­ly that the gun was the mur­der weapon.

    ...

    The jour­nal­ist also found that Mr. Engstrom had been active in a shoot­ing club, that he had polit­i­cal and pri­vate motives for killing Mr. Palme and that his per­son­al­i­ty matched a police pro­file of the like­ly killer. Mr. Engstrom was 52 at the time of the killing, and was frus­trat­ed with his lot in life.

    “He had not advanced at his job,” Mr. Pet­ters­son said in an inter­view. “He didn’t get the posi­tions he felt he deserved. No fam­i­ly. No prospects in sight. So he was kind of a dis­ap­point­ed man at that point of his life.

    “But he also had a dri­ve to be rec­og­nized,” Mr. Pet­ters­son added. “To make some­thing great of him­self. He enjoyed every sec­ond of being in the media.”

    ...

    At one time or anoth­er, the killing was linked to a shad­owy arms deal with India, a secre­tive Ital­ian mason­ic lodge and Chilean fas­cists sup­pos­ed­ly tak­ing revenge for Mr. Palme’s oppo­si­tion to Gen. Augus­to Pinochet’s regime.

    In the end, the Swedish judi­cia­ry says, it was all the work of one man, Mr. Engstrom.

    His motive?

    Mr. Pet­ters­son, the jour­nal­ist: “He want­ed atten­tion.”
    ...

    So what about the South African con­nec­tion? Did pros­e­cu­tors men­tion that at all dur­ing their press con­fer­ence? Yes, but only to dis­miss it as a pos­si­bil­i­ty inves­ti­ga­tors could­n’t inves­ti­gate because the peo­ple approach­ing inves­ti­ga­tors about infor­ma­tion relat­ed to South Africa could­n’t dis­cuss spe­cif­ic infor­ma­tion exten­sive­ly:

    News24

    Not enough infor­ma­tion to link apartheid secu­ri­ty forces to Swedish PM assas­si­na­tion

    Tshi­di Madia
    06/10/2020

    * Swedish author­i­ties have cleared the South African apartheid regime of any links to the 1986 assas­si­na­tion of prime min­is­ter Olof Palme.
    * The pros­e­cut­ing author­i­ty said on Tues­day it believed Stig Engström killed Palme over his left-wing val­ues.
    * Inves­ti­ga­tors in the mat­ter test­ed the bul­lets used to kill Palme against 788 weapons but still haven’t been able to find the mur­der weapon.

    Swedish author­i­ties say there is not enough evi­dence link­ing South Africa’s apartheid secu­ri­ty forces to the 1986 assas­si­na­tion of its prime min­is­ter Olof Palme.

    Swedish chief pros­e­cu­tor Kris­ter Peters­son and Swedish police lead inves­ti­ga­tor Hand Melander, held a media brief­ing on Wednes­day announc­ing the clo­sure of the 34-year-old inves­ti­ga­tion.

    They revealed graph­ic design­er Stig Engström was the man believed to be behind the assas­si­na­tion of the prime min­is­ter, but were unable to pur­sue pros­e­cu­tion as Engström is dead.

    ...

    He said numer­ous leads were fol­lowed includ­ing that the Kur­dish mil­i­tant group the PKK, the police and South Africa’s secu­ri­ty forces were involved.

    “The prob­lem is that you can­not get any spe­cif­ic infor­ma­tion dis­cussed exten­sive­ly. There are a num­ber of peo­ple who con­tact­ed us pro­vid­ing inter­est­ing views with respect to this lead on South Africa but unfor­tu­nate­ly there is not enough spe­cif­ic infor­ma­tion to do some­thing about this lead,” said Peters­son.

    He added that he found some of the leads involv­ing South Africa “per­son­al­ly inter­est­ing, due to the spe­cif­ic motives linked to this claim”.

    OR Tam­bo

    For sev­er­al years, it was believed South Africa held the answers to Palme’s assas­si­na­tion, with “deep-search” doc­u­ments alleged­ly describ­ing Palme as an “ene­my of the state” by the apartheid regime, along with a list of names of peo­ple believed to have been involved in the deci­sion, plan­ning and imple­men­ta­tion of his assas­si­na­tion.

    There has also been a back and forth over the doc­u­ments, with some claim­ing they were forg­eries and oth­ers, includ­ing retired gen­er­al Chris Thiri­on, who used to head up the country’s mil­i­tary intel­li­gence say­ing he believed the doc­u­ments looked gen­uine and that he was con­vinced the coun­try car­ried out the assas­si­na­tion.

    Palme’s mur­der took place a week after he met with the ANC’s long-serv­ing pres­i­dent O.R Tam­bo in Stock­holm.

    The leader of the Social Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty had also voiced his oppo­si­tion to the Viet­nam war and apartheid South Africa.

    Engström, who came to be known as the Skan­dia man, worked for the Skan­dia finan­cial ser­vices com­pa­ny, which was based closed to the scene of the crime.

    He had spo­ken to secu­ri­ty at the com­pa­ny short­ly before the inci­dent, return­ing briefly after­wards to tell them of the assas­si­na­tion.

    ———–

    “Not enough infor­ma­tion to link apartheid secu­ri­ty forces to Swedish PM assas­si­na­tion” by Tshi­di Madia; News24; 06/10/2020

    ““The prob­lem is that you can­not get any spe­cif­ic infor­ma­tion dis­cussed exten­sive­ly. There are a num­ber of peo­ple who con­tact­ed us pro­vid­ing inter­est­ing views with respect to this lead on South Africa but unfor­tu­nate­ly there is not enough spe­cif­ic infor­ma­tion to do some­thing about this lead,” said Peters­son.”

    So the pros­e­cu­tors are open­ly say­ing they were get­ting leads relat­ed to South Africa but, for what­ev­er rea­son, they could­n’t pur­sue these leads because the sources of the leads could­n’t go into details. And he made this state­ment two days after we had that report in the Guardian by Swedish diplo­mat Göran Björk­dahl who explic­it­ly stat­ed that he was told by his South African intel­li­gence source that Swedish and South African intel­li­gence rep­re­sen­ta­tives met in March to dis­cuss the han­dover of evi­dence to the Swedish gov­ern­ment. Evi­dence that very well may have val­i­dat­ed Stieg Larsson’s the­o­ry of a a broad­er inter­na­tion­al con­spir­a­cy involv­ing apartheid-era South African intel­li­gence agents and far right ele­ments in Swedish law enforce­ment. It’s the kind of sce­nario that hints at the prob­lem not being a lack of peo­ple will­ing to share spe­cif­ic infor­ma­tion about these leads. The prob­lem is with that spe­cif­ic infor­ma­tion and who it specif­i­cal­ly impli­cates. Or maybe who it non-specif­i­cal­ly impli­cates. Who knows who far reach­ing a con­spir­a­cy like that could have been. Swe­den’s pow­er struc­ture real­ly could have been rocked to its core if this inves­ti­ga­tion had been allowed to play out, But that’s not going to hap­pen and now that case is close. Because of course that’s how this played out.

    The ‘lone nut’ strikes again.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | June 10, 2020, 2:31 pm

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