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Kent State, 1970, new tape evidence: "They heard someone shout 'prepare to fire' then give an order"

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As you know, this week is the anniversary of the Kent State Killings.

On May 4, l970, members of the Ohio National Guard fired into a crowd of Kent State University demonstrators. The guardsmen fired 67 rounds in 13 seconds, killing four students and wounding nine. One of the wounded was paralyzed permanently.

This post is a fast three-parter.

First, the new evidence. Via Digby we learn, after all these years, there was indeed an order to "Fire" (my emphasis and paragraphing):

Inevitably, National Guard leaders insisted that the Guardsmen had not been ordered to fire; either they shot in self-defense or, at worst, acted on their own. Three hundred FBI investigators found no proof of a plan to shoot students; the Department of Justice closed the case three times in as many years. It took until 1979 for a civil suit to be resolved, with the state of Ohio issuing a mild statement of regret and paying $675,000 to the victims and their families.

And yet there is no resolution of this tragedy. Just before the May 4th demonstration began, a Kent State communications major who lived in a dorm overlooking the Commons decided to record it. Setting the microphone of his tape deck in his window, he created the only real-time account of the shooting.

The original was destroyed by the Department of Justice in 1979, but a copy of the tape surfaced in a collection of evidence given to the Yale University Library.

In 2010, at the request of two Ohio newspapers, forensic experts used technology not available in the 1970s to evaluate a digital CD of the tape.

They heard someone shout "prepare to fire" and then give an order. Two seconds later, the gunshots begin.
Kinda reminds you of this, doesn't it?

It does me. Welcome to the State, protecting itself.

Finally, another version of the music Chris featured. (Sorry, this one may come pre-ad-dled; it's from the copyright owners themselves, WMG. Our Betters; gotta love their love of property rights.)

Neil Young in concert, 1971, acoustic only:

Occupy, folks — and be sure to do it non-violently, or you will fail to grow. We do need you to grow.


(To follow on Twitter or to send links: @Gaius_Publius)

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