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Return to the Charles A. Thomas Papers (KSU May 4 Collection)


Blood of Isaac
an e-book by Charles A. Thomas





          The invasion of Cambodia “encountered little more than token resistance…  [T]he South Vietnamese command structure was so heavily infiltrated with V.C. [Viet Cong] that news of the impending attack may as well have been broadcast over psy ops loudspeakers.”180   The communist insurgents, following the precepts of the eighth century B.C. general Sun Tzu (as plagiarized by Mao Tse-tung), let the blow fall on thin air.   But they left behind a killing field of mines, booby traps, and snipers, and the invaders took casualties despite being unable to come to grips with the enemy.   “Helicopters, medevacs, were always coming in and out with people fucked up.   They oftentimes couldn’t even get them out before they started to rot.”181   “Every day for thirty days there were shots fired, shots returned, somebody wounded, somebody medevaced,” a medic recalled, “I put twenty-eight people either directly into body bags or loaded them into helicopters.  I probably loaded the same number of wounded.”182   Obviously, the slaughter did not approach that of the head-to-head battles in SouthVietnam.   But the morale of the combat infantrymen – the “grunts” – was so low that any resistance would have daunted them, and some were debating whether they would obey the order to board the helicopters taking off for Cambodia right up to “lift off” time.183

            For the force that invaded Cambodia was the tip of a rotten spear, a military whose technical might was only matched by its moral bankruptcy.   It had been a quarter century since it had fought in a war declared by Congress, as the fundamental law of the land required.   In that time, it had gone through the continuum from citizen soldiers defending their homes to imperial legions invading those of others that it had taken Rome centuries to complete.   At the end of his career, its greatest general and commander-in-chief Dwight Eisenhower had warned against the corrupting power that the military and its Siamese twin the armaments industry had acquired.   Ten years later – the year before Cambodia – David Shoup, ex-commandant of the Marine Corps – had re-sounded the alarm, redoubled as had the size of a Pentagon “fueled by a gigantic defense industry”184

            He led a whole contingent of career officers who had turned their backs on their profession in horror, warning of a “defense” establishment running amok in the service of corporate priorities, weakening its blood through its incest with industry.   The military was no longer a band of warriors, but a “business conglomerate, to be promoted and expanded in much the same way as General Motors or IBM.”185    Perhaps it was inevitable that Robert McNamara should be the Secretary of Defense who initiated the folly of  trying to defeat jungle-bred guerrillas with computer-driven management practice, even as he remade the Pentagon in the image of his former fief, the Ford Motor Company, replacing quasi-mystical creed of the soldier with “systems analysis” and “cost-effectiveness”186.   It was no less appropriate that the supreme command in Vietnam would devolve, when the fight was most furious, on General William Westmoreland, epitome of the techno-warrior, less prepared to inspire than to “manage a war of statistics and computer, and institute ‘indicators of progress’ to gauge success in the war.”187   It was all reduced to a game of numbers: weapons captured, villages relocated, areas cleared, and, above all, bodies counted, “until only computers became capable of digesting and understanding it all, and machines took over decisions of life and death.188  

            Ironically, it was the numbers that betrayed the army’s state of collapse.   At the end of 1969, the Justice Department was prosecuting 33,960 young men for refusing induction into the military, as opposed to 380 just five years before.   “In the first quarter of 1970, the Selective Service System, for the first time, could not meet its quota.”[189]   During President Nixon’s first two years as commander-in-chief, “the number of desertions doubled, then doubled again… both in Vietnam and at U.S. bases world-wide.”[190]   “At the peak of the war, an American soldier was going AWOL [Absent Without Leave] every two minutes, and deserting every six minutes.”[191]

            Those not lucky enough to evade the draft through the money and influence of their parents, and unwilling to risk the penalties for evasion or desertion, found themselves under the command of officers who had forsaken professional integrity for “managerial careerism”.[192]   The officers used their tours in Vietnam to promote their own interests.   This spirit of enterprise quickly communicated itself down through the ranks and throughout the support activities.   Larceny by service personnel and Defense and contract employees reached the point where the “Viet Cong received a large percentage of their supplies form the United States via the underground routes of the black market.”[193]   The black market at Qui Nhon, which did $ 11 million (1970 dollars) a month in business, was a virtual armaments supermarket where the smart shopper could hunt bargains on items like armored personnel carriers and helicopters.[194]   The juxtaposition of the illicit fortunes thus made with the destitution of the country was just another existential shock for the GI to absorb, along with the “desperation of uprooted villagers next to the cosmopolitan wealth of Saigon profiteers, and the privations of the average American ‘grunt’ next to the unruffled privileges of the officers.”[195]   Sensing disaffection in the ranks, the officers did try to buy the loyalty of their men with a sample of the luxuries they wallowed in, to a degree which amazed the Spartan communists.   “Even in the midst of battle, iced beer would sometimes appear, heliborne, out of the skies.”[196]  

            But token shares of these inappropriate comforts could scarcely compensate the grunts for the hell the high command put them through in the field.   Fifteen years after the French had succumbed to the same folly, the US generals were still trying to defeat the phantom guerrilla army with road-bound mechanized forces, Dien Bien Phu-style air drops, and tons of high explosives.   And before the insurgents would appear long enough for the barrage or air strike to be called in on them, they had to be lured from invisibility by dangling an infantry unit in front of them as “bait… a target… a sitting duck…  In no other war which the army has fought has the infantry role come down to this point of vulnerability.[197]    If the bait was taken, and the barrage or bombardment fell before the guerrillas could withdraw, the infantry private had to go in and count the bodies, or parts of bodies, as inputs for the MACV computers.   There was no way to tell which had been the enemy soldiers and which had been civilians.   This “inflicted a terrible psychic and emotional toll…  In the field, the rule became, ‘if it’s dead, it’s VC’, from which it was but a short step to a constant, haunting question: Where does combat end and murder begin?”[198]

            The troop rotation system, also managed by computer, turned the GI himself into a number, a digit to be randomly added to or subtracted from a unit with no thought for the personal cohesion that has always armored soldiers against the ultimate stress of combat.   He faced death in isolation.   When first arrived, he was an “FNG”, a “fucking new guy”, whose inexperience was likely to get him – and anyone with him – killed.   As the days grew short on his year’s rotation, he was transmuted into a “short timer”, withdrawn again into himself, his “only concern… surviving until the end of his tour of duty.”[199]Isolated among his peers, “[f]aced with a hostile population, unable to distinguish enemy from friend… lacking any sense of purpose or conviction in the war”[200], the GI nonetheless was surrounded by chemical consolation.   The drug supermarket, paralleling the black market, was everywhere, and the top-of-the-shelf item was the newly-perfected 80% to 99% pure Number Four strain of heroin.   It was pressed on him by street peddlers, GI pushers, roadside stand operators, “and ‘mamma-sans’ or Vietnamese barracks maids… carrying a few vials to work for sale to on-duty GIs.”[201]   A 3% pure capsule might cost $ 50 in the Bronx.   The 98% pure version was on sale for $2 on the streets of Saigon    Heroin use in MACV increased tenfold the first year Number 4 was available.[202]

            The drug scene gave the war its final dimension of insanity and corrupted anything that otherwise had remained whole.   It was universally known that it was the main interest of the CIA.   The Agency had financed the Meo tribe’s growing and processing of the opium, and brought the finished product into Vietnam on its private airline.   “The US Air Force supplies plants to fly it when Air America can’t.”[203]   These planes were armed to shot down their competitors from Air Vietnam and the Cambodian Air Force.   The CIA was denounced with typical lack of effect on the floor of Congress for using government funds to back one drug-growing tribal “chief” in a war against his competitors.[204]     Nor was the GI inspired to lay down his life defending this brave little country against the aggressors by the knowledge that the two biggest drug profiteers in South Vietnam were its president and vice-president, whose take amounted to $ 90 million (1970 dollars) a year.[205]   “Americans profited as well.   In 1970, the command pilot for the American ambassador was caught with $ 8 million worth of heroin in his plane.”[206]

            For the CIA, the Vietnam experience proved addictive.   After the American pullout in 1975, its reliance on the unaccountable funds derived from the narcotics trade was only to grow[207], and motivate much of its miscasting of intelligence well into the next century.

            Throughout the six years of this inferno, some could still be sustained by the assurances of the MACV high command, based on computer projections, that the defeat of the communist enemy was ever nearer at hand.   Then, during the 1968 celebration of Tet, the Vietnamese new year, the insurgents launched an all-out offensive throughout the country, however briefly capturing many of the major cities and even penetrating the compound of the American Embassy in Saigon.   Their courage was suicidal, and the Viet Cong guerrillas were decimated.    But American morale was shattered.   “[T]he US Army virtually ceased effective operation in Vietnam.”[208]    Patrols ordered to seek out and destroy the enemy would march off into the jungle and make camp – “the men would sleep, write letters, smoke (some even used cigarettes), eat their rations, and wait for the hours to tick away.”[209]   The television audience at home had a Tet of their own when CBS News filmed a unit ordered to advance down a road by its captain, which simply refused to go.   (CBS News was then prohibited from any further coverage of this unit.)[210]

            Officers who tried to drive their men to glory brought a new word into colloquial English: “frag: v. …. 2.a. Mil.  To kill or wound (a disliked superior officer), usu. by means of a fragmentation grenade.”[211]   Not coincidentally, the word originated in 1970, when twice as many officers were so attacked as the year before.   “Word of the death of some officer often brought cheers from men gathered in a bivouac or attending an outdoor movie.”[212]   Nor were officers the sole targets.   A more venerable slang term, “lifer”, referred to anyone, officer or enlisted man, who had decided to make a career out of the military.   And for those who were trapped in “’Nam” for one detested tour, “the war between us and them was just as great or greater than the war between us and the Vietnamese.”[213]

            Thus another possible reason for the communist commanders’ decision not to meet the invasion of Cambodia head-on, but to fade into the jungle before it.   There was no need to fight.   The American army was at war with itself: draftees vs. lifers, white vs. black vs. brown, grunts against officers, profiteers, and REMFs (Rear Echelon Mother-fuckers), MACV against ARVN (usually over the latter’s tendency to steal anything in sight).   Even while the invasion was underway, the dry rot spread.   The technological miracle that was to have brought the communists to their knees merely became the most potent of all stressors on the GI.[214]   “By brutalizing technologically-backward people who are seen as non-human, even death-tainted, and therefore fair game, because of their very lack of technology,”[215] the precedent was set for the mass slaughter of Iraqi civilians twenty years hence by militarily-created pestilence and famine.    This program of desensitization, conditioning, and denial defense mechanisms, combined with subsequent participation in war, may make it possible to share the guilt of killing without ever having killed.[216]    Meanwhile the military doctrine of Vietnam -- dehumanizing and then killing defenseless civilians – had followed the lifers back to the “World” (the United States) and was about to be tested on the home front.



            In his journal, Haldeman referred to May 1st as “Reaction Day”.   It could have gone better.   “Hardest to convince our own troops on the Hill,” he predicted correctly.[217]   The first barometer, telegrams received by key Senators, was sharply negative on the Republican side: minority leader Hugh Scott, 20 to 1 against the invasion; minority whip Robert Griffin, “almost solidly negative”; George Aiken, 10 to 1 against.   “Even the two hawkish senators from Georgia – itself one of the most hawkish states in the union – found little more than half of their wires opposed the action in Cambodia.”[218]   The Senate Foreign Relations Committee requested that its chairman William Fulbright be granted an emergency conference with the president “at his earliest convenience”, the first such request since 1919.[219]   Five other senators asked Professor George Kahin, a specialist in modern Southeast Asian Studies at Cornell, to weight the President’s action.

His conclusion: “Cambodia is a sovereign state.   Since the U.S. acted without consulting its government, our invasion is a violation of international law.”[220]   Perhaps most ominous of all, Paul Harvey, known as the “voice of the silent majority”, announced on his regular radio program:


                                    Mr. President, I love you – but you are wrong!   America’s six per cent section of this planet’s mothers cannot bear enough boy

                        babies to police Asia – and our nation can’t bleed to death trying.

                                    And quite frankly, Mr. President, out here in the unterrified nine-tenths of this country that’s still country, we don’t think there’s

                        anything in Indochina worth that.[221]



            On a slightly higher philosophical plane, the political scientist who had defined the quality evinced by the President and his men found her scheduled address at the Law Day convocation at New York University the ideal occasion for comment on current events.   At a gathering convened to discuss (also fortuitously), “Is the Law Dead?”, Hannah Arendt discussed “The Citizen’s Moral Relation to the Law in a Society of Consent”.    She countered the proferr of reactionary constitutional amendments with one that would protect freedom of association for dissidents as well as “groups bound to the corporate interest”.   She was rewarded by an attack from her fellow confrerees, orchestrated by sponsor Eugene Rostow, who predicted that such freedom would lead to the kind of mass uprising momentarily expected at Yale.[222]



            The president breakfasted at seven, walked over to his office at 7:15, and immediately called in Director of Central Intelligence Helms.[223]   Then he summoned Haldeman, who found him gazing out over the Rose Garden “and musing about how short a time the spring lasts”.   Together with “K[issinger] & Z[iegler]?”, he reviewed the p.r. orders for the day: “Cold steel – no give…  Mainly stay strong – whole emphasis on ‘back the boys’ – sell the courage of the P.”[224]   In Haldeman’s notes, an especially fateful directive appears just before “back our boys in Vietnam”: Chot: Rhodes esp. ride this.[225]

            “Chot” was Murrary Chotiner, the Hollywood lawyer who had been Nixon’s hatchetman from the very beginning, clearing his path to the House in 1946[226] and the Senate in 1950[227] with a debased but extremely effective form of treason-mongering.   When Nixon was caught up in a fund-raising scandal as a vice-presidential candidate in 1952 and had decided to quit the ticket, it was Chotiner who persuaded him to stay.   And yet, four years later, when Chotiner experienced long-overdue embarrassment because of his sleazy clients, Nixon had dumped him without a thought.[228]   According to his most admiring biographer,[229]

Nixon forfeited the presidential race in 1960 and the California gubernatorial contest in 1962 because Chotiner was not guiding his path.   The “dominance and intimacy of the shrewd, pudgy, unsavory lawyer”[230], not to mention his utter lack of moral scruple, had turned Chotiner into Nixon’s familiar spirit, the fleshier embodiment of the beady-eyed, unshaven Nixon in the editorial cartoons.   Reunited, they won the White House in 1968.   And following the shock administered to the new president by the mass antiwar demonstrations of fall 1969, Chotiner moved in.    Faced with his greatest enemy, Nixon needed the one man who would stop at nothing to destroy an enemy.   (As Chotiner told John Dean that summer, “if Richard Nixon thinks it’s necessary, you’d better think it’s necessary,.   If you don’t, he’ll find someone who does.”)[231]

            “Rhodes” was of course Governor James Rhodes of Ohio, himself not one to be made a coward by conscience.   At this point Rhodes desperately  needed to mend fences with the White House.   Underestimating Nixon’s strength at the 1968 national convention, Rhodes had withheld the votes of the Ohio delegation during the first ballot for a favorite son candidate.   Nixon had won and “Jim Rhodes was left holding fifty-five meaningless votes.”[232]   Now he was five days away from a primary that, according to the polls, could likely end his political career – barring a miracle, like massive last-minute support from the White House.   Chotiner would do naught but what his chief desired, and now Rhodes could do little else as well.    The White House could still hope, as of 8:00 a.m. on May 1st, that the revolution – and its “just” suppression – would explode at Yale.   But at Ohio State, police and National Guardsmen had already fired on and wounded student demonstrators.[233]   And that meant the scenario had a back-up venue.



            At 8:31 a.m., the President departed by motorcade for the Pentagon, to get a briefing on the progress of the invasion.   He fidgeted through the presentation, his eyes flicking from the alleged communist bases that were the objectives to the others unmasked by military intelligence.   He finally blurted, “Could we take out all the sanctuaries?”   There was a startled silence.   “I want to take out all those sanctuaries,” he went on, “Knock them all out!”   Cutting off the briefing officers with an “obscenity-punctuated tirade”, he shouted, “You have to electrify people with bold decisions.   Bold decisions make history…Let’s go blow the hell out of them!”[234]   One of the aides present thought the President was “a little bit out of control.   It scared the shit out of me.”[235]   As Nixon wound up his tirade and there was an opening to object, General Westmoreland tried to point out that the rainy season was due in less than a month, and that no resources had  been allocated to achieve these additional objectives.   Nixon ignored him.236  And so the generals began to redraft the orders to include the additional objectives.

There were those in the military who thought that Nixon hadn’t been aggressive enough, such as ordering attacks into Laos and Thailand as well.   “Tragically,” one of them intoned, “Nixon hadn’t been quite that bold or prescient.”237

            When the President came out into the hall, he was surrounded by Pentagon civilian employees gushing over the speech he had made the previous night.   “It made me proud to be an American,” one secretary told him.   This jolted the haggard Chief Executive – “He had dark circles under his eyes, and he looked like a man in a daze”, according to legendary White House reporter Helen Thomas – into another outburst.   Pausing to extol his loyal soldiers (“those kids out there… They’re the greatest”), he went on to address the “kids” who were really on his mind:


                                    You know, you see these bums, you know, blowing up the campuses.   Listen, these boys on the college campuses today are the luckiest

                        people in the world – going to the greatest universities – and here they are burning up the books, storming around about this issue.   I mean,

                        you name it.   Get rid of the war and there’ll be another.238



            The word “bums” didn’t have the visceral impact of Reagan’s “bloodbath” – except to Nixon.   The demonstrators displayed the kind of defiance toward authority that he had never dared show toward his abusive father, “who often mistreated him and his brothers and had called them ‘bums’.”239    His verbal attack now “was as much against a part of himself”240 that he couldn’t acknowledge as against the protestors.   And it summed up his lifelong sense of envy and hypersensitivity to betrayal; “the bums were the offspring of the rich and the affluent, natural Republicans, while the heroes were the offspring of the working class, natural Democrats.”241   Used by others, “bums” could be roughly affectionate.   Used by Nixon, especially at this moment, it was the ultimate epithet.

            There is no way of knowing what kind of intelligence briefings Nixon had received before 8:30 that morning about what had happened overnight, that could have exaggerated his natural sense of being surrounded by enemies.   But it seems unlikely that no one had informed him that an entire generation was rising against him.   From Princeton to Berkeley, Rutgers to Stanford, sit-ins, marches, and students vs. cops melees erupted too fast for the wire services to keep up with them.   In the City of Brotherly Love, students rallied around a stalled National Guard tank in the middle of Broad Street.   In Wisconsin and Kansas, they cleared out of their classrooms on strike.   Cornell faculty members drafted a resolution calling for his impeachment, as did the National Student Association in Washington – despite its history of heavy CIA infiltration.   In New York City, the Young Republicans Club joined the Young Democrats in condemning the invasion on behalf of the “great middle ground of young Americans.”242

            Nonetheless the President returned to the White House seemingly buoyed by his own Pattonesque panache at the Pentagon and the adulation of the secretaries there.   Ziegler fueled his good spirits by assuring him that the Congress was lining up behind him.243   The President decided to take his family to lunch aboard the Sequoia.   As he boarded the yacht, a Marine aide later recalled, “I have never seen him appear so physically exhausted.” 244    Haldeman concurred:  “P. was really beat – but still riding on reaction.   Really needs a good rest.”245



            The confrontation at Ohio State, so violent the day before, cooled off rapidly on May 1st.   Faculty and student marshals fanned out across the Columbus campus, persuading as many students as possible to board university-leased buses and go home for the weekend.   Col. James Folk, commander of the eighteen hundred National Guardsmen on campus, admitted, “They really gave us a big assist” in averting bloodshed.   Despite the defusion, Governor Rhodes cancelled a scheduled address at the Firestone Country Club that evening.246   If he did not know about the noon rally at Kent State, then the echelons of undercover agents from various state agencies (in addition to town and federal informers) had failed him dismally.   Or perhaps it was only necessary that John McElroy knew.    Few of the students left at KSU, which was usually evacuated over the weekend, were talking about anything but the invasion of Cambodia.   The few of those few who were activists were not there, having left for the big confrontation at Yale or, liking the just-released SDS leaders, gone to ground.    So the first of the ironies of that weekend was that perhaps a quorum of those at the noon rally were conducting surveillance on it.

            This was, after all, Ohio, the state which had led the nation into the McCarthy era witchhunt for “communists” by setting up its own Un-American Activities Committee in 1951.247   Following leads supplied by local police “Red Squads” and with particular attention to those “potential breeding grounds for political subversion”, the colleges and universities, the Committee had cut an inquisitorial swathe across the state with a series of hearings.   Its attention was turned on the Ohio State system by then-state auditor James Rhodes, who gained his first name-recognition coup by withholding the salary of a physics professor who had refused to answer questions before the US House Un-American Activities Committee.248

            But the “communist subversion” tradition in Ohio long ante-dated Rhodes.   The state had held its first major auto-de-fe on the Columbus campus in 1926.   It had terminated professors and expelled students for “radicalism”, defined as protesting against Reserve Officer Training, expressing sympathy for strikers, and more nebulous acts of treason such as visiting a neighboring Negro college (“He made his students dance with niggers,” one scandalized trustee noted of a terminated professor).   A 1930s evaluation by the American Association of University Professors suggested that Columbus might be the wrong milieu for an institution of higher learning.   “The city does not exhibit true metropolitan toleration…  the University experiences difficulty in maintaining detachment from local political influences.”249   In 1970, Columbus was still a city where “the political spectrum begins on the left with moderate Republicanism and moves rightward towards absolute darkness.” 250

            But Columbus was a blossoming garden of “metropolitan toleration” compared to Kent, a jerkwater town “politically and economically dominated”251 by millionaire Robert C. Dix, the owner of the only newspaper, the bank, and chairman of the board of trustees at Kent State University, the town’s only significant employer.   Although Kent State students tended to be apolitical and pragmatic – when politically oriented at all, toward the right --  the local establishment was so hyper-sensitive to “treason” that when a handful of KSU activists formed the Kent Committee to End the War in Vietnam (KCEWV) in 1964, the whole surveillance apparatus – city police, campus police, highway patrol, county sheriff’s department, county prosecutor, and Cleveland field office of the FBI – descended on it.   ‘Student reporters for the campus newspaper, the Daily Kent Stater, and the campus radio station, WKSU, enthusiastically collected information on the KCEWV.”252

            Virtually every administrative apparatus within the school was outfitted for surveillance.   The campus police “organized a student intelligence network and kept files on individual student radicals.”253   Vice President for Student Affairs, Robert Matson, ran his powerful office “like a police state”.254    His large and largely unaccountable budget provided the resources to corrupt as many students, faculty, and employees as were susceptible.   One of these amateur agents told the FBI of attending meetings to report on their “content and participation” to campus security.255  Another cultivated “friendships with members of these organizations, which he feels are subversive”.256   A third even reported a fellow student employee for, among other things, refusing to cut her hair until the war in Vietnam was over.257   A parallel and overlapping network of informers operated through Joseph LaCamera’s All-Student Housing organization, whose student employee dorm receptionists and resident counselors were ideally situated to monitor the movements and associations of their peers, and pass on or create defamatory “intelligence” about activists.   Bill Armstrong, a notorious ultra-rightist and editor of the school paper, maintained his clipping files as a database on dissident activity for the campus police; within a week after the incident of May 4th, he would personally guide the FBI through them, with commentary on the “radicals”.258   His photo editor, Sandra Martin, shot rolls of pictures of campus events which, however devoid of news value, provided the Bureau with a basis for its own “photo album”.   The director of the campus radio station, Bob Carpenter, sent his “reporter” Margaret Murvay, to interview and record resident and visiting radicals while she was employed by the campus police.   She passed this information on not only to them, but to the House Internal Security Committee,259 pointing SDS members out on photo blowups and “focusing particularly on the Jewish members.”260    And like all such units, the Kent State contingent of the Reserve Officer Training Corps was under a directive dated 9 February 1970 “to provide up-to-date reports of campus protests.” 261

            During his appearance at the beginning of April, Jerry Rubin had described Kent State as not so much a school as a “super-prison”262 on the verge of exploding.    With all-pervasive surveillance, he was certainly correct.    He did not say, if he knew, that as at Attica it would be the forces of “law and order” that would explode in violence.


            Such was the unpromising battlefield on which the World Historians Organized Against Racism and Exploitation made its stand against the Cambodian invasion and the military-corporate behemoth for which it stood.   The only unpredictable moment in the rally came when Tim Butz yielded to an impromtu impulse to burn his discharge papers.   Steve Sharoff dug a hole and buried a copy of the US Constitution someone had ripped out of a text book.   An unidentified male jumped onto the housing of the Victory Bell, which was serving as a rostrum, to denounce the proceedings, but was jeered down.   Chris Plant took a moment to state the obvious: “The executive has become an all-powerful fascist organ with other branches of government serving only as remnants of a once [balanced] power.”263    Bobby Franklin “welcomed… [the] undercover” campus police “in their blue blazers, brown slacks, and white socks”264, then launched into his “usual ranting and raving” about the system.265   The rally ended as if by unspoken consent and the attendees began to drift away, a few informal announcements were shouted out.   One concerned a “street festival” downtown that evening, another of a rally on the Commons at noon.   The former is more significant, because in all the extant accounts, what happened “downtown” that evening was entirely spontaneous.

            Campus “undercover” officer Tom Kelly, the recipient of Franklin’s ironic greeting, went off to write up his notes.   Later one of the student informers “told the campus police that the whole scene was a put-up job – that it was one of the sympathizers with Sharoff, etc., who tried to ‘stop’ the burial [of the Constitution].”266   Later that afternoon, the Black United Students (BUS) held a rally of their own.   When the informers started taking pictures of the principals, Franklin had an antiwar Vietnam vet take pictures of them, just as a matter of counter-harassment.   When the vet got his pictures back from the developer, the whole BUS sequence was missing.   (These were only the first of hundreds of photographs taken that weekend which would disappear.)   The BUS rally marked the first and last participation by black students in the events of the weekend.   Unlike their more sheltered white counterparts, like Allison Krause, they knew their government was perfectly capable of killing them – and they seemed to have sensed that the time had come.

            Around one that afternoon, Lt. Jack Crawford of the campus police phoned his chief Donald Schwartzmiller at the state capital to report on the rallies.   There is no indication of why Schwartzmiller, along with campus security director Chester Williams and university vice president Richard Dunn, were in Columbus, except a note that they were attending a “hearing”.267

            Did anyone beside the black students sense what might happen at Kent State that weekend?   Months later, editor Elaine Wellin struck up a conversation with an “business executive type” while they were waiting for their planes at Cleveland-Hopkins Airport.    He said that his sister, a freshman at Kent State, had been dating a member of one of the Guard units that would be committed to the campus that weekend.    The Guardsman had called the girl on the afternoon of May 1st and told her to get off the campus at all costs, even offering to pay for a motel room so she could stay downtown.   He told her that anyone remaining on the campus that weekend could be killed.



            But whatever dire plans may have been hatching in Ohio that Friday, morbid expectations on the highest level remained fixed on Yale.   Every circumstance was perfect.   May Day morning found campus and town enveloped in a chilly mist, ringed by town police, National Guard, and US Marines and paratroopers.   The battlefield was “CIA U.”    At the center of the kill zone lay the imprisoned Black Panthers and now, the nation’s leading radicals, both of whom had attracted a multitude of “hippie” sympathizers.   The “Chicago Three”, Tom Hayden, John Froines, and David Dellinger held a press conference at the Old Central Church, holding forth as gingerly as if they were snuffing out cigarettes in a gasoline dump.   They quashed an attempt by the “Yippies”, members of  the anarchy-oriented Youth International Party, to pack and agitate it, taking the opportunity to renew the order of the day: avoid “false violence, false agitation”.268    That order had been carried into the ghetto district known as the “Hill” all night long by thirty young Hispanic and black men, wearing black and red armbands, who urged the residents to “cool it” in the face of continuous provocation – particularly attacks on blacks by a white motorcycle gang called the “Slumlords”269, whose motives and sponsorship have been explored no more deeply than those of a similar motorcycle gang that evening in Kent.

            By afternoon, a variously-estimated crowd of 25,000 to 35,000 students and pilgrims crowded on to the Town Green, a grassy quadrangle in the center of campus also similar to the Commons at Kent State.   They were completely surrounded by National Guardsmen wearing gas masks and carrying high-powered rifles at port arms.   French dramatist Jean Genet, the featured speaker, saw the scene – particularly with himself at the center of it – as a metaphor for the times: a speech written by a short, balding, homosexual iconoclast read in halting English by a towering, soft-spoken black man (Panther Elbert “Big Man” Howard) to (in the words of pot-puffing onlooker-poet Allen Ginsberg, “the tender terrified whites assembled under the Eye of metal-armed Masked Robot Armies and Gas-Weaponed Police – all of us black and white now Scholars in Hell! On New Haven’s Green.”270

            Rennie Davis and Tom Hayden chose “calm, pragmatic radicalism” instead of fiery invective.   “Both played down violence and encouraged study of the imperialistic system that had brought the nation to such an impasse.”271   Jerry Rubin, out of sync as he frequently was with his comrades, repeated his message from Kent State: that the revolution should start then and there in the family, children killing their parents.   But Rubin’s rhetoric, scripted for bloody barricades, was playing to a county fair.   “Vendors sold ice cream, peanuts, and popcorn to the milling kids on New Haven Green, and children wheeled bicycles along the edge of the grass…  [T]he only casualty was a young student who cut his forehead when he ran into a flagpole while chasing a football.”272    Relieved Panther David Hilliard pronounced the last words over the White House scenario for confrontation at Yale: “The weekend is completely peaceful.”273

            As the afternoon waned and the crowd began to drift away, the authorities tried several last-ditch provocations.   Around four, a student “came running up to say that the Guardsmen… were deployed on York and Elm Streets in the middle of the university itself.”274   Chaplain Coffin waxed furious; the Guard commanders had promised to make no such maneuver.   “I’m shocked at this deployment right in the middle of the campus without any provocation by the demonstrators,” he fumed to a  Times reporter.275   And still no one took the bait.   The students wandered off to get dinner and then attend workshops and teach-ins.    So as darkness fell, the agents provocateurs were brought into play, “disguised as both black and white militant freaks”.   One of the former burst in on a session being led by Jerry Rubin and shouted that, “Ten Panther brothers have been arrested and they’re beating people down on the Green right now!”   Rubin shouted back into the microphone, “Don’t go down there!   This isn’t it!   This is full of shit!”276   In the audience, writer/alumnus John Hersey assessed the provocateur’s “act” as “so transparent it’s almost funny, but some students follow.”277   Those that did charged into a wall of police tear gas.   “[A]bout the same time another man tried to make a similar announcement before a group on Yale’s old campus.   He was denounced as a provocateur.278

            At around 9:30 p.m., several hundred deceived by these or similar efforts marched to the Superior Court building where Panther Bobby Seale was awaiting trial.   Student marshals linked arms to form a living barrier between them and the National Guard bayonets.   Coffin helped them turn the crowd around and head it back toward the Green.   There, in response to thrown rocks and bottles, the Guard fired another barrage of tear gas.   This time the crowd dispersed for good.   The great May Day confrontation at Yale was over.   Ohio State had fizzled out and now the greater opportunity was lost.   But by now there was a third option –



            Darkness rushed across the land, fleeing the all-too civilized New Haven for the deeper shadows of Middle America.   It switched on the garish lights along the Strip, the seediest stretch of North Water Street, itself no exclusive neighborhood.   The Strip was a gauntlet of taverns, marginal businesses, and discos, centered on “four honky-tonk-type bars” that “continually victimize patrons… particularly the students… [T]hey short-change them, serve them when intoxicated, and the premises are filthy.”279   It drew students from all over north Ohio, because underaged kids did not have much trouble getting served if no one had spotted the state liquor control agents that evening.   KSU President Robert White often bemoaned the fact that he could never get the town authorities to clean up this sink of depravity.  Perhaps he was unaware that the bars were lucrative sources of off-duty employment for Kent City police officers (who would prove James Michener’s primary sources – along with bartenders and bouncers -- for the “riot on North Water Street” chapter in his sprawling and utterly distorted book on Kent State.)280

            The students’ awareness of their own exploitation, along with the vulnerability of the young to alcohol and the pangs of sexual deprivation, usually created a charged atmosphere on the Strip on the weekend evenings, to which blue-collar rowdies and high-school dropouts contributed heavily.   On this May Day evening, the aura of nervous excitement was heightened by the invasion of Cambodia (would it widen the war as seemed inevitable? Would there be  new, more sweeping draft calls?).    “[W]e began to blame Nixon.   It seemed like everyone was collecting to talk about his speech.   The students were unofficially joining forces.”281   “Kids just wanted to rap with each other about what the hell Nixon the madman was up to.”282    The situation became even more volatile as the heat and crowding forced many of the bar patrons out onto the sidewalk and even into the street.283    These are the circumstances generally accepted over thirty years of recounting as the catalysts for the disturbance that followed.

            But FBI reports released in the summer and fall of 2000 move players treated as peripheral in earlier accounts toward nearer center stage.   Thus students returning to campus from the town in the early morning hours of the 2nd told friends of a riot caused by “about 20 motorcyclists… throwing beer bottles through windows”284 and/or “several motorcycle riders… throwing firecrackers at passing police cruisers.”285   Actually, the trouble had gotten started early in the evening when “hippies” gathered in front of Seaver’s and the bikers, in front of Orville’s.   The antipathy between the latter and the former, led by activist Ruth Gibson was natural.   “The motorcycle people are like animals and have their girls on leashes”; unkind words passed between the two groups, punctuated by a thrown beer bottle and there was a brief skirmish.286   (And yet by nightfall, the bikers and the hippies would be standing shoulder to shoulder, throwing bottles at the police.)

            Even contemporary accounts ascribe the “liberation” of the street to the motorcycle gang, the Chosen Few:


                        [They] collected trash in the middle of the street and built a bonfire.   Gang members took turns urinating into the fire and doing students on their

            cycles…   A crowd of about four hundred sang and danced in the street.   Another thousand watched from the sidewalks.   The atmosphere was festive.

            The street had been ‘liberated’ and everyone was cheering.287



            There were around a hundred students each in front of the Kove and JB’s when the first police car appeared.   “[T]he kids started clapping their hands and as the car left the area the clapping turned to full applause.”288   Others saw members of the crowd stop cars and ask the drivers where they stood on Cambodia.    Those who supported Nixon were turned around.   This so enraged one middle-aged motorist that he drove around in a big circle, re-entered the street from the other side, and “accelerated through the crowd…  it was a miracle no one was seriously injured.   He recalls one person rolling off the hood of the car and another being knocked down by the side of the car”289 which escaped into the night with a tattoo of fists hammering on its metal flanks.  The festive mood instantly turned ugly.


                        [S]ome straight, relatively short-haired kid – an athlete, local legend has it – hurled a near-perfect sinker through the windshield of a City of Kent

            patrol car, the beer-brown Stroh’s bottle insolently shattering the green-tint of officialdom into a spiderweb, a little beer in the bottle slopping obscenely

            onto the patrol car’s hood in a final gesture of defiance, and the riot was on.290



            The riot was on, and the only two of KSU’s activists ever placed on the scene did not leap up to lead it.   Steve Sharoff was sipping beer in Seaver’s, the “hippie” bar, when a student rushed in and blurted, “Guys are throwing bottles out there.”    Sharoff’s incendiary reply: “Wow, that’s pretty far out.”   Rick Erickson, also in Seaver’s drinking to his release from jail the night before, didn’t stay long enough to say that much.   He finished his beer and left Kent for good.   “I wasn’t down there for more than two minutes.”291

            A few “peace group leaders” in the street, “attempting to mollify the crowd… were merely pushed aside and, in some cases, knocked to the ground.” (FBI Report, 6, Vol. 3, p. 746).292    “Rocks were being thrown at the police and many students and a motorcycle gang known as the ‘Chosen Few’ were ‘baiting’ the police and egging the students on trying to provoke a disturbance. (5, 1, 266.  EMPHASIS ADDED.)    About twenty people started smashing the storefront windows of Water Street enterprises known for “ripping off” the young, of which there were no dearth.   The police finally moved in to clear the street, but not before being reinforced by “20 regular deputy sheriffs and 60-70 special and posse deputies.” (6, 1, 215. EMPHASIS ADDED).   The police had already called the bar owners and told them to shut down, which merely interested persons till then only interested in drinking and watching the NBA finals on television into the street – some leaving drinks they had paid for unconsumed.    And yet the crowd in the street was starting to break up under a threat of rain. (6, 3, 689).   But before it could disperse, the police charged it, firing tear gas, swinging their nightsticks, and attacking anyone who could not get out of the way.293

            The Chosen Few had disappeared.   There is no record of any member of the gang being detained, let alone arrested, for vandalism, obstructing traffic, assault and battery, or inciting to riot.    No member of the gang was ever questioned by the FBI, or, if they were, their statements have been withheld from the FBI report.   This is an extraordinary omission in view of the Justice Department’s interest in motorcycle gangs and their involvement with drug traffic, although not in view of the CIA’s practice of using local criminal organizations to implement black operations at the most basic level.

            A number of the “lawmen” the FBI interviewed after the fact belonged to the contingent referred to as “posse” or “mounted” deputies – another class of actors not given credit for their parts in contemporary accounts.   None of the agents asked them about their qualifications, although one Guard captain later observed,  “I had been given a couple of special deputy sheriffs and I put them on a motorized patrol with Guardsmen, but they kept getting off at every street corner to talk to their friends.”294   Several members of the fleeing crowd got a taste of their professionalism.   One freshman was protesting being pushed along the sidewalk, saying that he was only trying to get to his car, when “another individual wearing a hard hat and carrying a nightstick struck him alongside the head and told him to keep moving… not a regular policeman but one of those who had been deputized and came from one of the small towns outside Kent, Ohio.” (2, 41, 29)

            Ron Holiday, a black student, wasn’t even given an order to move along.   Walking east on Main Street, he was suddenly surrounded by police and/or “deputies” and struck in the stomach.   He absorbed at least four more blows, to the head, as he fell to the sidewalk.   He was handcuffed, then “taken to the police station on an unknown charge.” (2, 39, 163)   His untreated head wounds were still bleeding when Carl Kleder saw him there.   Kleder had been arrested for responding to a jab in the ribs with a nightstick by saying, “Jesus Christ!  I’m going!”   He and Holiday were thrown into a holding cell with a dozen other young people.   The only toilet was a tin can.   “One kid was really hysterical – he kept screaming and pounding his head against the wall, shaking the bars and carrying on…   No one came to check on him, though, or on any of us, for that matter.”295

            Some of the wilier fugitives crept down side alleys to avoid the sweep.   They ran into the only persons seen with firearms on North Water Street that night: shopkeepers with shotguns lurking in doorways.   Driven from the Strip, the crowd ran down to the intersection with Main and scattered from that point.   On Main Street lay some of the riper monuments to local avarice, “banks, rental agencies, home loan associations,”296 and some of those running up the hill along Main paused to smash their windows.   At the top of the grade, Main Street leaves the business district and runs past a row of fraternity houses.   Curious frat brothers, emerging to see what all the noise was about, were chased back inside with clubs; “some of the Greeks got radicalized that night.”297   Further on, the students reached Prentice Gate, the entryway to the campus.   Here they turned and mocked the police and their vigilante auxiliaries from the safety of what would be their sanctuary for only another twenty-four hours.   The police fired tear gas at them, to no effect.   Then, everyone seemed to realize how late it had gotten and wandered off to bed.

            It was scarcely the first time things had gotten rowdy on North Water Street on a weekend evening.   But now some invisible hand set in motion a process whereby the rowdyism would be interpreted as the beginning of a mass uprising.   Kent Mayor Leroy Satrom was playing cards with Democratic county boss Roger di Paolo and Republican county boss Seabury Ford298 when an unidentified party (probably the police), told him what was going on downtown.   At 12:47 a.m., he called the governor’s mansion in Columbus and spoke with John McElroy, executive assistant to Governor Rhodes and, in the eyes of many Buckeye sophisticates, the real governor of Ohio.   McElroy later recalled Satrom as being “in quite an uproar”.   The mayor told him that “the students had taken over part of the city, were breaking windows, and terrorizing businessmen”.   He claimed that the police and sheriff’s deputies had been trying to restore order “for several hours” without success.299

            Four minutes later, the state attorney general’s office called university police chief Donald Schwartzmiller to inquire about conditions on the campus (where nothing had happened, with the exception of one broken window).300   Four minutes after that, McElroy phoned the headquarters of the Ohio National Guard at Fort Hayes and told the duty officer that the “Mayor’s office in Kent called informing him SDS students had taken over part of the town.   At one a.m., the duty officer dispatched Lt. Charles Barnette in civilian clothes “to verify SDS students taking over part of Kent.”301    Headquarters also contacted Major Arthur Wallach, acting commander of the 1/145th Infantry Battalion, at the unit’s makeshift ready-response base in the Rubber Bowl football stadium in Akron – the takeoff point for any crisis in the Teamsters’ strike.   Wallach duly dispatched his own intelligence officer, Captain Robert Thompson (to whom the major referred, in whatever spirit, as “Captain Marvel”)302, to Kent.

            At 0250 hours (2:50 a.m.), Barnette told headquarters that “500 people rioting, heading for the University.”   He followed this twenty minutes later with a slightly more accurate message which however repeated the myth that would spell disaster:


                        0312.   Maj. Wallach to Col. Magley – Ext[ensive] damage to 25 store fronts; 12 arrests.   Initial crowd of 500 now 100.   Local authorities have

            situation under control.   Damage light on campus.   SDS students suspected.   Erickson spotted downtown prior to riot.303



            Major Wallach’s scout, “Captain Marvel”, called in a report as lurid as his nickname:


                        He was told that there were guns on campus, that drugs and acid were in use, and that nonstudent agitators were on campus…  that radicals

            on campus had a plan for ‘direct action’ to burn down all the ROTC buildings on campus, to burn down the president’s house, to burn down a research

            building housing Project Themis.304



            In “Marvel’s” defense, he could – on the basis of being in town for a few hours before dawn – have no other likely source for his intelligence than the Kent City Police.   As to the reliability of their sources, Chief Roy Thompson was admirably if perhaps unwittingly candid:


                        I’m not going to say who the agents are because, then they couldn’t be agents any more.   I trust them, though.   Oh, sure, sometimes they tell me

            things that don’t happen, but then I figure the other side has either planted that information or the other side has found out our people knew about it and

            they were forced to cancel their plans.310



            During the three days to come, the city police would continue to create fantastic “intelligence”, which would be regurgitated by Robert Dix’ newspaper and, more dangerously, recycled through the Guard’s radio net.   Nor was this an aberration peculiar to one small-town Ohio police department.   Although federal and state law enforcement, and military and civilian intelligence agencies, processed a staggering amount of distorted and defamatory information about American citizens during this period, the point of origin for most of it was the police “red squad” in each community (which however was no longer openly referred to as such).   The ideological right’s obsession with local autonomy and paranoia about big government – which so often worked at cross-purposes with the pragmatic right’s obsession with centralizing power – helped entrench town police departments in the conviction that they were the “first line of defense against disorder and disruption”.311   Their ability to objectively perceive events objectively enough to create reliable intelligence was hampered to the degree that the police “apparat inevitably resorts to those tactics it understands best: the creation of uncertainty and the dissemination of fear.”312   ( This of course does not preclude a contribution to the witch’s brew of rumor by that agency for which destabilization was a primary tactic.)    At Kent State the key would be fear of the SDS, which three letters would serve as shorthand for the threatening if projective fantasies of Middle America about all New Left organizations.

            For the letters “SDS’ did not flash out of the night on a neon sign over a bar on the Strip.   Nor should it be regarded as coincidence that they appeared as soon as the trouble started there.   SDS was the boogeyman that caused the bourgeoisie all over the nation to check under their beds every night and they had taken their cue in that regard from the very top.   Nine months before the Cambodian invasion, the President’s in-house master counterspy Tom Huston had warned, “Student militancy will sweep major campuses and flow into the streets of our major cities as the competing factions of SDS strive to prove that each is more ‘revolutionary’ than the other.”313   FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover fed the fears of the Oval Office with regular offerings of alarmist reading material on the subject.314   Hoover’s obsession with the New Left, in turn, had dated from April 28, 1965, when President Lyndon Johnson had told him that “according to intelligence reports reaching him”, the antiwar movement was nothing more or less than a plot by the North Koreans and the Red Chinese to cause a “complete breakdown in law and order” in the United States; Johnson authorized FBI spying on American citizens the next day.315  

            By the spring of 1970, Hoover’s view of the anti-war activist had devolved into the demonic: “His main reason for being is to destroy, blindly and indiscriminately, to tear down and provoke chaos…   They conceive of themselves as the catalyst of destruction – bringing death to a society they so bitterly hate.”316   And he pursued the demon “with a vengeance almost unknown in FBI annals…   The manpower assigned to such domestic intelligence and surveillance responsibilities was sometimes doubled, tripled, or even quadrupled – even at the expense of the bureau’s responsibilities for genuine counterintelligence efforts against foreign espionage – as the FBI pursued the Director’s new public enemy number one.”317   By this time, with Hoover’s encouragement playing on his own powerful inclinations in that direction, President Nixon was seeing the hand of the SDS everywhere, even behind a national postal strike, which he erroneously believed would spread to a “national strike, other walkouts, i.e., Teamsters, Air Traffic Controllers, etc., to cripple whole country at once.”318

            Did the SDS have such omnipotence?   More especially, did the national organization have the strength and coherence of purpose to dispatch to Kent the outside agitators that Michener, most prominently among others, would blame for the confrontation?  

            No.   In the early 1960s the most creative and, by the middle of the decade, the most charismatic of the New Left organizations, SDS had by 1969 undergone a series of internal schisms which had amounted to self-dismemberment.   Abandoning its parent League for Industrial Democracy at birth – along with the venerable Marxist principle that the factory workers must be the vanguard of the world revolution – it embraced and then discarded its mid-decade emphasis on community organizing and civil rights, in time to catch the crest of the anti-war tidal wave.   As the American factory worker became irrelevant (as his factories were relocated out of the country to take advantage of Third World labor costs), the most enlightened SDS theoreticians recognized that the new proletariat of the coming “information” society would be the college students and the “cybernized” worker ants they would become.319   The new base of operations for the revolution was to be the college campus.

            With two misguided conclusions drawn from the ferment of spring, 1968, the SDS was able to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.   The occupation of Columbia University convinced some of its leaders that they could spurn liberal support and lead the students straight into radicalism.   And the worker-student revolt in France – which they assessed without weighting the venerable French tradition of middle-class revolution – deluded them into thinking that the American radical students could be welded into a similar alliance with American factory workers, who in fact were intensely conservative when not downright fascist in their attitudes.   An especially romantic if self-destructive wing (two tendencies which coexist in the 19-year-old mind) wanted to model the organization on the Third World peasant revolts, making an inexplicable fetish of Fidel Castro’s suicidal assault on the Moncada Barracks “six years before his revolution was successful”.320

            These were only the major splits.   The dissension within local cells was limited only by the anarchic nature of the SDS personality (i.e., not at all).   What remained were isolated pockets of quasi-fugitives, when actual outlaws, whose agenda consisted of spasmodic acts of aimless violence and much more frequently, endless debate in monotonous rhetoric.    The presence of actual government plants and provocateurs in their midst resulted in a paralyzing state of paranoia.   The end came at the national convention beginning on June 18, 1969.   Bernardine Dohrn led newly energized feminists, who were revolted by the slobbering macho of some of the Black Panthers, and traditional SDS democrats frightened by the takeover plots of a lockstep Maoist wing, into stalking out of the arena.   She took her followers with her, organized anew as the Weathermen, or Weather Underground.321

            “SDS was no longer a national or local force.”322   In October the Weathermen charged into a Moncada Barracks-style assault on the Chicago police “viewed by many as a suicidal ‘death trip’.”   The last issue of the Weather Underground publication FIRE! Came out on January 30, 1970, patently an epitaph; over the weekend of February 7 and 8, 1970, “even the SDS national headquarters in Chicago was quietly vacated.”323    Its obliging acts of self-destruction coincided with an all-out attack on it by every authority figure in the nation from the President and the Attorney General on down to the most insignificant college administrator on the most forgotten of one-building campuses.   In 1969, thirty-nine state legislatures submitted four hundred draft laws targeting the New Left.   In the first fix months, four thousand of its members were arrested (including the cadre at Kent State).   “SDS, the main object of these attacks, was forbidden on a number of campuses.”324   For many, the final ignominy came when Mark Rudd, leader of the Columbia Revolt, was “arrested by his own bodyguard, who was an undercover agent.”325    As for the offshoot Weathermen, they would take organizational suicide to the personal level when four of them blew themselves up in a Manhattan townhouse in the spring of 1970 while trying to make the bombs that would bring down capitalism.

            But Kent witnesses had “seen” SDS and Weathermen during the weekend.   One swore he’d seen Jerry Rubin “leading the crowd Friday and Saturday night.”326   Mayor Satrom told President White that “his city police claim to have identified 12  ‘Weathermen’ in the downtown area Friday” and cited this as the main reason he requested the National Guard the following day.327   Satrom himself told the Commission that his “intelligence sources” reported “two carloads of Weathermen in the area.”328   A freshman commuter student told the FBI that one of the jailed SDS leaders had been at the noon rally on May 1st.329  

            Ironically, it is the FBI that refutes these fantasies however much their Director may have wished to believe them and to have America believe them.   Its COINTELPRO program – the acronym accurately parses as “Counterintelligence Program”, frequently followed by “Is Disruption of the New Left” – tracked SDS and the Weatherman with infinite pains, and the Cleveland office was exemplary in this regard.   In a list of SDS cells in Ohio compiled in May 1968, it made no reference to Kent State except that “a group known as the Kent Committee to End the War in Vietnam” was active on campus.330   The same office thought that Kent State merited a special report a year later, although it concluded that “all the new left organizations currently on campus have very limited membership and receive little sympathy or support from the student body”.   It did remark the existence of an SDS chapter of 6-8 members, but added that “no outside influences influences [were] involved in the development of this organization on campus.”331   In a post-mortem on the May 1970, the same officer added: “As a result of the suspension of the SDS chapter on the Kent State campus and the suspensions and arrests mentioned above, the level of SDS activity on campus declined.”332

            When it launched its far-reaching investigation on campus after the incident, the FBI asked an endless parade of witnesses if they had seen any of the four Kent State SDS leaders at any time during the fatal weekend.   There were only two positive responses: one student had seen Howie Emmer handing out pamphlets “during the latter part of the week preceding the riots” (1, 3, 712) and another had seen him just after the shootings asking the Guardsmen “what they wished the students to do so that they would not get hurt any more.” (1, 11, 1225).    The agents showed witnesses photographs of various Students for a Democratic Society, Weathermen members, and fugitives who may have been at KSU during the demonstration.” (1, 3, 636).     They tried to place radicals at the demonstrations by showing photos of them gleaned from the photo morgue of the school newspaper to the witnesses. (1, 2, Vol. 20 et. seq.)    The responses were uniformly negative.

            Two survivors of the KSU SDS, meaning to sound a call to arms, wound up pronouncing their organization dead: “over sixty of our people have been banned from campus, at least 11 face heavy charges, with total bail exceeding $ 120,000.”333   The truth, from both sides of the barricades, was that the SDS had nothing to do with the confrontation at Kent State.   Then why do many still believe that it did?

            Myth has always been more powerful than truth.   Myth is easy to understand, because it is couched in clichés (referred to by anthropologists as archetypes) and because it embodies what people want to believe anyway.    In the age of mass communications, where myth has become the property of those who can afford the means to spread it, it has reduced truth to an endangered entity, if not one already extinct.   The President knew what he wanted to believe about Kent State and what he wanted the American people to believe about it.   And he had direct access to the means of perpetuating it, in the person of one of his oldest intimates.   Hobart Lewis had been a golfing buddy of Nixon’s since 1952.   In 1970, he was also the hands-on president of the Reader’s Digest magazine.   As such he had provided Nixon with a mass readership for his articles – invariably on the weakness of the American military and foreign policy, and the corruption of American society by the welfare state – during those long years of exile from 1960 to 1968, when they were the only consistent way to keep his name before the public.   Lewis was one of the confessors Nixon would call on the night of May 8th-9th, at the nadir of his depression.   Two days after that, Lewis was summoned to the White House.   And shortly after that, the Digest announced it would embark on a major new publication project, a book on Kent State, to be authored by Digest “roving editor” James Michener.

            The book that Michener wrote on Kent State is such a continuous tissue of falsehood that it would require a volume equally as long to excise all of it.   With regard to the topic of the moment, the role of SDS in the confrontation, his pages on the “Haunted House” – supposedly the base of the Kent SDS – is a thoroughly representative sample.   Michener claimed that this Victorian relic exuded such a miasma of evil that writer Robert Bloch could not shake the spell of it even after he had moved away from Kent.   It was the inspiration for his short story “Psycho”.   When director Alfred Hitchcock decided to film the story, he had photographs taken of the “weird old horror” and had it rebuilt board for board on the set of the Bates Motel.   Michener quoted him as saying, “It looks evil.    When a skeptical Kent State professor asked Bloch about all this, the author replied that he had never lived in Kent or even set foot in Kent, and that no house in Kent or anywhere else had been the inspiration for “Psycho”.   To which Hitchcock added, “The house used in ‘PSYCHO’ has been for some years on the Universal back lot on what is known as the ‘residential street’…  So you see, I’m afraid there is no connection at all with the house in Kent.”334

            None of Michener’s other allegations about the role of the SDS were any more substantial.   Even the Digest researchers who preceded him into town that summer reached the obvious conclusion: “The SDS was not only outlawed and its members under injunction not to appear on campus in any guise but its principles had become mild laughingstocks.”335   In the end he had to rely on a single seven-hour interview with an actual radical named Bill Whittaker, whom Michener turned into the composite and fictional figure of “Paul Probius”.   Michener used no tape recorder and took minimal notes.   Whittaker’s reaction, when the book came out, was that Michener “distorted his language, and had him saying things that were more an amalgam view of the typical revolutionary than his own views.”336   In the end Michener generated enough verbal fog and innuendo to “prove” what his own researchers and the FBI had completely discounted: that the SDS engineered the whole confrontation337  and that in this regard it was a mere tool of sinister foreign powers like Communist China.338

            Critical reception of the book varied from skepticism to ridicule.   But the Silent Majority did not read reviews.   The Reader’s Digest awaited it on its subscription lists, in waiting rooms and offices, in the local library – and through the offices of the US Information Agency, in mass distribution in seventeen languages around the world.   That was the propaganda conflagration that was started by that single spark in the pre-dawn hours of May 2nd.   But who kindled that first spark?    And given the USIA’s front-relationship with the Central Intelligence Agency, could there not have been a sublime circularity in it all?



180    Hackworth and Sherman, About Face, p. 731.

181    Ellen Frey-Wouters and Robert S. Laufer, Legacy of a War: The American Soldier in Vietnam.  (Armonk, NY/London; M.E. Sharpe, Inc., 1986), p. 18.

182    “Jeff Engel”, interviewed in Gerald R. Gioglio,  Days of Decision: An Oral History of Conscientious Objectors in the Military During the Vietnam War.  (Trenton, NJ; Broken Rifle Press, 1989), p. 153.

183    Gary Shepard (CBS News) interview with unidentified infantryman, in “A Feeling of Déjà Vu”, in Walter Cronkite, Eye on the World  (New York; Cowles Publishing, 1971, p. 128.

184    General David M. Shoup (retd.), “The New American Militarism”, Atlantic Monthly,  April 1969, p. 51.

185    “Cincinnatus”, (aka. Lt. Col. Cecil Curry), Self-Destruction: The Disintegration and Decay of the Army During the Vietnam Era.  (New York; W.W. Norton & Co., 1981), p. 131.

186    Douglas Kinnard, The Certain Trumpet: Maxwell Taylor and the American Experience in Vietnam.   (New York/London; Brassey’s/Maxwell/MacMillan, Inc. 1991), pp. 75-76.

187    Cincinnatus, p. 62.

188   Philip Knightley, The First Casualty: The War Correspondent as Hero, Propagandist, and Myth Maker.  (New York; Harcourt, Brace, and Jovanovich, 1975), p. 382.  EMPHASIS ADDED.

[189]    Howard Zinn, “The Impossible Victory,” reprinted in Grace Sevy (ed.), The American Experience in Vietnam: A Reader.  (Norman, Oklahoma/London; University of Oklahoma Press, 1989), p. 167.

[190]    Michael Maclear,   The Ten-Thousand Day War: Vietnam, 1945-1975.    (New York; St. Martin’s Press, 1981), p. 336.

[191]    Lawrence Baskir and William A. Strauss, Chance and Circumstance: The Draft, the War, and the Vietnam Generation.   (New York; Alfred A. Knopf, 1978), P. 122.

[192]    Paul L. Savage and Richard A. Gabriel, “Cohesion and Disintegration in the American Army: An Alternate Perspective,” in Sevy (ed.), p. 87.   The authors are emphatic in refuting the Army’s standard alibis for it defeat in Vietnam, such as “the permissive society, fragmenting ideologies, or a nation being torn apart”, pp. 96-97.

[193]    Cincinnatus, p. 68.

[194]    Knightley, p. 384.

[195]    Paul Starr, James Henry and Raymond Bonner, The Discarded Army: Veterans After Vietnam.  (Washington; The Center for Responsive Law, 1973), p. 16.

[196]    Peter MacDonald,  Giap: The Victor in Vietnam.  (New York; W.W. Norton, 1993), p. 302.

[197]    John Helmer, Bringing the War Home (unpublished doctoral dissertation, Harvard University) quoted in Starr, Henry, and Bonner, p. 15.   EMPHASIS IN ORIGINAL.

[198]    D. Michael Shafer, “The Vietnam Combat Experience: The Human Legacy,” in D. Michael Shafer (ed.),  The Legacy: The Vietnam War and the American Imagination.  (Boston; Beacon Press, 1990), pp. 84-85.

[199]    Lt. Col. David Grossman,  On Killing Ground: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society.   (Boston; Brown & Company, 1995), p. 270.

[200]    Star, Henry and Bonner, p. 119.

[201]    McCoy, Read and Adams, Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia,  pp. 181-182.

[202]    Maclear, p. 337.

[203]    Starr, Henry and Bonner, p. 113.

[204]    Veteran interviews in “Voices of the GI Movement,” in Nora Sayre, Sixties Going on Seventies.  (New York; Arbor House, 1973), pp. 105-106.

[205]    David Harris,  Our War: What We Did in Vietnam and What It Did to Us.   (New York; Random House/Times, 1996), p. 82.

[206]   Young, The Vietnam Wars, p. 246.

[207]    Peter Scott Dale and Jonathan Marshall, Cocaine Politics: Drugs, Armies, and the CIA in Central America.  (Berkeley; University of California Press, 1991/1992/1998)

[208]    Paul Joseph, Cracks in the Empire: State Politics in the Vietnam War.     (Boston; South End Press, 1981), p. 158.

[209]    Cincinnatus, p. 153.

[210]    CBS Evening News report, “Charlie Company,” script quoted in Cronkite, pp. 101-103.

[211]    J.E. Lighter (ed.),  Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang.   (New York; Random House, 1994), p. 807.

[212]    Samuel Zaffiri,  Westmoreland: A Biography of General William C. Westmoreland.  (New York; William Morrow, 1994), p. 347.

[213]    Robert Jay Lifton, Home From the War: Vietnam Veterans: Neither Victims Nor Executioners.   (New York; Simon and Schuster, 1973), p. 231.

[214]    See the table headings in Frey-Wouters and Laufer.

[215]    Lifton, p. 359.

[216]    Grossman, p. 359.   EMPHASIS IN ORIGINAL.

[217]    Haldeman (J), May 1, 1970 (unnumbered page 30).

[218]    “Nixon’s Gamble: Operation Total Victory,” Newsweek, May 11, 1970, p. 24.

[219]    William C. Berman,  William Fulbright and the Vietnam War: The Dissent of a Political Realist.  (Kent/London;  Kent State University Press, 1988,), p. 126.

[220]    “Cambodia: The Administration’s Version and the Historical Record,” in William Appleman Williams, Lloyd Garner, and Walter LaFeber,  America in Vietnam: A Documentary History.  (Garden City: Anchor/Doubleday and Co., Inc., 1985), p. 287.

[221]    Seth S. King, “Paul Harvey, ‘Voice of the Silent Majority’, Opposes Nixon’s Move,” New York Times,   June 1, 1970, p. p. 25.

[222]    Elisabeth Young-Bruehl, Hannah Arendt: For Love of the World.   (New Haven; Yale University Press, 1982), p. 429.

[223]    Archives/NPM.  “The President’s Daily Diary”, May 1, 1970.

[224]    Haldeman (J), May 1, 1970.  EMPHASIS ADDED.

[225]    Haldeman (N), May 1, 1970, “0805 K & Z”.HaH

[226]    Jerry Voorhis, The Strange Case of Richard Nixon.  (New York; Paul S. Erickson, Inc., 1972), pp. 4-5.

[227]    Stephen Ambrose, Nixon; Volume One; The Education of a Politician.  (New York; Simon & Schuster, 1987), p. 124.

[228]    Ibid., p. 398.

[229]    Ralph de Toledano  One  Man Alone: Richard Nixon.  (New York; Funk & Wagnalls, 1969), p. 298.,

[230]    Roger Morris, Richard Milhous Nixon: The Rise of an American Politician.  (New York; Henry Holt & Co., 1990), p. 588.

[231]    John Dean, Blind Ambition: The White House Years.  (New York; Simon & Schuster, 1976), p. 34.

[232]    Joe Eszterhas and Michael D. Roberts,  13 Seconds: Confrontation at Kent State.  (New York; College Texts and Notes, Inc., 1970) (Paperback edition), p. 133.

[233]    Perry M. Flint, “Students Press Strike at Ohio State U.,” New York Times, May 2, 1970, p. 2.

[234]    Walter Isaacson, Kissinger, p. 269.

[235]    Daniel Henkin, interviewed in Wells, The War Within, p. 422.

236    (Gen.) William C. Westmoreland (retd)  A Soldier Reports, (Garden City; Doubleday & Co., Inc., 1976), pp. 388-389.

237   (Lt. Col.) J.D. Colman (retd.),  Incursion: From America’s Chokehold on the NVA Lifelines to the Sacking of the Cambodian Sanctuaries.  (New York; St. Martin’s Press, 1991), p. 239.


238  Helen Thomas, Dateline: White House.  (New York; MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1975), p. 136.

239  David Abrahamsen, Nixon vs. Nixon: An Emotional Tragedy.  (New York; Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, 1976), p. 185.

240  Bruce Mazlish, In Search of Nixon: A Psychohistorical Inquiry. (New York; Basic Books, 1972), p. 96.

241  Stephen Ambrose, Nixon: Nixon Volume: Triumph of a Politician, 1962-1972.  (New York; Simon & Schuster, 1989), p. 349.

242  “Students Protest Nixon Move,” New York Times, May 2, 1970, p. 2.

243  Ambrose, p. 348.

244  Bruce Oudes (ed.), From the President: Richard Nixon’s Secret Files.  (New York; Harper & Row, 1989), p. 124.

245  Haldeman (J), 5/1/70, p. 31.

246  Richard F. Lightner, “Student Patrols ‘Save’ OSU?”  Akron Beacon-Journal, May 1, 1970, pp. A1 & A2; “Rhodes Cancels Speech”, Akron Beacon-Journal, May 1, 1970, p. A2.

247   David Caute, The Great Fear: The Anti-Communist Purge Under Truman and Eisenhower.  (New York; Simon & Schuster, 1978), p. 80.

248   Lionel S. Lewis, Cold War on Campus: A Study in the Politics of Organizational Control.  (New Brunswick/Oxford; Transaction Books, 1988), p. 83.

249   James Wechsler,  The Revolt on Campus (Seattle/London; University of Washington Press, 1935), pp. 146, 213, 216, 218.

250  James S. Turner, “Ohio State: Free Speech and Student Power,” in Julian Foster and Durward Long (eds.),  Protest! Student Activism in America.  (New York; William Morrow, 1970), p. 346.

251   Kenneth Heineman, Campus Wars: The Peace Movement at American State Universities in the Vietnam Era.  (New York; New York University Press, 1993), pp. 36 & 37.

252   Ibid., pp. 118 & 230.

253   Andrew R. Malcolm, “Disorders Spur Larger College Security Forces”, New York Times, May 17, 1970, p. 68.

254  Library of Congress; Personal Papers of James Michener, “Kent State: Book File,” Box 51, unsigned memorandum, probably from Andrew Jones, “Notes on Kent State Shooting Story,” p. 2.

255   FBI Report, 1, Volume 12, p. 1526.  1 refers to the first increment of the report released to me under the Freedom of Information Act in 1978.

256   Ibid.,  Vol. 9, p. 819.

257   Ibid. 2, Vol. 26, p. 540.  2 refers to the second release of the report, shared with me by another Washington D.C. area requester, a reporter for the Akron Beacon-Journal.

258   Ibid.,  Vol. 12, pp. 1525, 1574.

259  U.S. House of Representatives, 91st Congress, 1st Session, Committee on Internal Security, Investigation of Students for a Democratic Society: Part 2: Kent State University.  June 24 & 25, 1969 (Washington; U.S. Government Printing Office, 1969), pp. 508, 519.

260  Heinemen, p. 238.

261   Christopher Pyle, Military Surveillance of Civilian Politics, 1967-1970.  (New York/London; Garland Publishing, 1986), p. 257.

262   “Kill Parents,  Burn Suburbs – Rubin,” Akron Beacon-Journal, April 11, 1970, p. A3.  Rubin’s appearance drew 1500 of Kent State’s 20,000 students.

263   Chris Plant, “Speech of May 3 [sic], 1970,” in Bill Warren (ed.), The Middle of the Country: The Events of May 4th As Seen By Students and Faculty at Kent State University.   (New York; Avon Books, 1970), p. 45.

264   National Archives and Records Service: 220-CU-KST.  “220” refers to Records of Presidential Boards and Commissions; “CU” to the President’s Commission on Campus Unrest; “KST” to the Files of the Kent State Investigating Team.  Box 94A, Folder: “C.E. Stine: Working Papers”, Xerox of Ohio State Highway Patrol report, “Riot at Kent State University,” May 18, 1970.

265  Author Interview with Robert Franklin, October 1978.

266   Michener, “Kent State: Book File,” Box 50, memo to A.J., J.M., titled “Re Officer Kelly.”  A.J. was probably Andrew Jones and J.M., James Michener.  The memo may have come from Hobart Lewis.

267   Memorandum, Ohio Adjutant General to National Guard Bureau, Washington, D.C., June 8, 1970.  Subject: “After Action Report, Kent State University, 2-8 May 1970” (referred to below as “After Action Report”; Exhibit A, statement by Chester Williams to the Ohio State Highway Patrol. 

268   Homer Bigart, “New Haven Police Set Off Tear Gas at Panther Rally,” New York Times, May 2, 1970, pp. 1 & 14.

269   Thomas Johnson, “Minority Residents Form Protective Patrols,” New York Times, May 2, 1970, p. 14.

270   “Genet’s Commencement Day Address,” preface by Allen Ginsburg to Jean Genet, May Day Speech. (City Light Books; 1970); quoted in Edmund White, Genet: A Biography.  (New York; Alfred A. Knopf, 1993), p. 537.

271   Michael Wreszin,  A Rebel in Defense of Tradition: The Life and Politics of Dwight MacDonald.  (New York; Basic Books, 1994), p. 467.

272   “Gentlemen Songsters Off on a Spree,” Newsweek, May 11, 1970, p. 31.

273   David Hilliard and Lewis Cole, This Side of Glory: The Autobiography of David Hilliard and the Black Panther Party. (Boston; Little, Brown & Company, 1993), p. 294.

274   William Sloan Coffin, Jr., Once to Every Man: A Memoir.  (New York; Atheneum, 1977), p. 304.

275   Bigart, p. 14.

276   Elliot Blinder, “New Haven in Three Days,” in Rolling Stone magazine (eds.), The Age of Paranoia. (New York; Pocket Books [PB], 1972), p. 324.

277   John Hersey, Letter to the Alumni.  (New York; Alfred A. Knopf, 1970), p. 101.

278   Paul Starr, “Black Panthers and White Radicals,” Commonweal, June 12, 1970, p. 295.

279   FBI Report, 6, Vol. 1, statement of KSU official (from the context, university president Robert White.)

280   James Michener, Kent State: What Happened and Why. (New York; Random House/Reader’s Digest, 1971), pp. 49-58. 

281   Barbara Moran, “For Someone Who Was There, Reasons Still Elusive,” in “Kent State 10 Years Later,” Atlanta Journal-Constitution, May 3, 1980, front page et. seq.

282   Eszterhas and Roberts, pp. 35-37.

283   Knight-Ridder Newspapers Special Report, “Kent State: The Search for Understanding,” as published in the Akron Beacon-Journal, May 24, 1970, p. A18.  Cited below as “Knight Report”.

284   FBI Report, 5, Vol. 1, statement of junior male, 5/13/70, p. 146.

285   Ibid., 7, statement of male junior, 5/26/70, p. 56.  (The seventh increment consists only of a single volume.)

286   Ibid., 6, Vol. 2., p. E.  (The pagination of the report is not always consistent.)

287   Eszterhas and Roberts, pp. 35-37.

288   FBI Report, 5, Vol. 1, sophomore student, 5/14/70, p. 280.

289   220-CU-KST, Witness File, Box 91, Folder: “Cvikil, Bruno”, undated statement to Terry Baker.

290   John Lombardi, “A Lot of People Were Crying, and the Guard Walked Away,” in Rolling Stone (eds.), p. 293.

291   Knight Report, p. 18A.


293   Stuart Taylor, with Richard Shuntich, Patrick McGovern, and Robert Genther, Violence at Kent State: The Students’ Perspective. (New York: College Notes and Texts, Inc.), 1971).

294   [Former Ohio National Guard sergeants] Edward Grant and Michael Hill, I Was There: What Really  Went On at Kent State.  (Lima, Ohio; C.S.S. Publishing, 1974), p. 55.

295   Michener, “Kent State: Book File”, Box 46, statement by Carl Kleder.

296   Ruth Gibson, “After May 4,” in Scott Bills (ed.), Kent State/May 4: Echoes Through a Decade.  (Kent, Ohio; Kent State University Press, 1982), p. 86.

297   Eszterhas and Roberts, p. 41.

298   Michener, “Kent State: Book File,” Box 40, unnumbered draft.

299   Helen Carringer, James Herzog, Sanford Levinson, Lacy McCrary, and Jeff Sallot, “Three Violent Days – Then Tragedy,” Akron Beacon-Journal, May 10, 1970, p. A10.   This is an early version of the Knight Report.

300   220-CU-KST, Witness File, Box 92, Folder: “Schwartzmiller, Donald,” statement to Kenneth McIntyre, August 7, 1970.

301   Ibid., Box 90, radio logs, Headquarters, Ohio National Guard, Fort Hayes, Columbus, Ohio, 2 May 1970.  EMPHASIS ADDED.

302   William Barry Furlong, “The guardsmen’s view of Kent State,” New York Times magazine, June 21, 1970.

303   220-CU-KST, Guard radio log, HQ Ft. Hayes, 2 May 1970.

304   Furlong, p. 68.

310   Eszterhas and Roberts, p. 71.

311   Paul Cowan, Nick Egelson, and Nat Hentoff,  State Secrets: Police Surveillance in America.  (New York; Holt, Rinehart, & Winston, 1974), p. 27.

312   Brian Chapman, Police State.  (New York; Praeger Publishing Co., 1970), p. 104.

313   NPM; memorandum, Thomas Charles Huston to H.R. Haldeman, August 8, 1969 (obtained by me from a private source).

314   Ibid., memorandum, Egil “Bud” Krogh to John Ehrlichman, “Reading Material for the President from J. Edgar Hoover”.  (Both these memos now with my personal papers in the University Archives/May 4th collection.)


315 James Kirkpatrick Davis, Spying on America: The FBI’s Domestic Counterintelligence Program.  (New York; Praeger Publishing Co., 1992), p. 132.

316  J. Edgar Hoover, “Modern Day Campus Attilas, or the SDS in Action,” Phi Kappa Epsilon magazine, Spring 1970; quoted in Richard Powers, Secrecy and Power: The Life of J. Edgar Hoover.   (New York; Free Press, 1987), p. 449.

317  Sanford J. Ungar, F.B.I.  (Boston; Atlantic Monthly/Little, Brown & Company, 1975).

318  H.R. Haldeman, The Haldeman Diaries.  (New York; G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1994).  Abbreviated below as Haldeman (P); entry of 3/21/70, p. 141.  This is an excellent introduction to the subject and a remarkable document in its own right; however the reader is warned that Haldeman’s diaries were screened by the National Security Council before the Archives would let him see copies.

319  Greg Calvert and Carol Nieman, A Disrupted History: The New Left and the New Capitalism. (New York; Random House, 1971).  Despite its unpretentious presentation, one of the ten most important books in contemporary history.

320   Immanuel Wallerstein and Paul Starr (eds.), The University Crisis Reader: Vol. II: Confrontation and Counterattack. (New York; Random House, 1971), esp. pp. 291-299; Louis G. Heath, Vandals in the Bomb Factory: The History and Literature of the Students for a Democratic Society. (Metuchen, N.J.; The Scarecrow Press, 1976), esp. Chapter 6, “Vandals in the Bomb Factory: End of the Road to Anarchy”.

321   Karin Ashley, Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn, et. al., “You Don’t Need a Weatherman to Know Which Way the Wind Blows,” New Left Notes, June 18, 1969, reproduced in Wallerstein and Starr (eds.), p. 291.  For a vivid personal account of this “Big Split”, see Susan Stern, With the Weathermen: The Personal Journey of a Revolutionary Woman. (New York; Doubleday & Co., Inc., 1975), Chapter 4, WEATHERMAN, June 21-24, 1969”, pp. 55-68.

322  Michael X. Delli Carpini, “Vietnam, Ideology, and Domestic Politics,” in Shafer (ed.), Legacy, p. 318.

323   Heath, pp. 184 and 191.

324   Klaus Mehnert, Twilight of the Young: The Radical Movements of the 1960s and Their Legacy. (New York; Holt, Rinehart, & Winston, 1976), pp. 32-46.

325   Bernard Collier, “SDS Scores Many Gains But Faces Many Problems,” New York Times, May 5, 1970, pp. 1 & 30.

326   220-CU-KST, Box 52, anonymous essays on the incident(s) submitted by KSU Social Psychology students; # 48.  Rubin was of course at Yale at the time.

327   Ibid., Box 94A, Staff Working Papers, Folder: “McIntyre-Straz.”, statement by Robert White to James Strazzella, August 7, 11 & 14, 1970.  Strazzella politely but repeatedly declined to be interviewed for this book.

328   Ibid., Box 92, Witness File, “Satrom, Leroy,” statement to Kenneth McIntyre, August 5, 1970.

329   FBI Report, 1, Vol. 2, p. 389.


330   Memorandum, Special Agent in Charge (SAC), Cleveland to Director, FBI, “Counterintelligence Program: Internal Security: Disruption of the New Left,” May 27, 1968.

331   Memorandum, SAC Cleveland to Director, “New Left Activity, Kent State University,” (undated, 1969).

332   FBI Report, 1, Vol. 4, special chapter, “Subversive and Radical Organizations at Kent State University,” pp. 981-1000.

333   Terry Robbins and Lisa Meisel, “The War Is On At Kent State,” in Heath (ed.), p. 351.

334   Kent State Archives/May 4th Collection; Personal Papers of Professor Carl M. Moore, Box 72, draft article by Carl Moore and Ray Heisey, “Not a Great Deal of Error”.

335   Michener, “Kent State: Book File,” Box 41, Draft III-3.

336   Moore and Heisey (pages unnumbered in my copy).

337   Michener, “Kent State: Book File,” Box 40, Draft III-EEE.

338   Ibid., Draft II-DDD.