John Anderson - Tony Widing - Anders Leopold
(Leopold Report 100505) When an intelligence service carries out a
state-controlled murder, everything is well prepared. It has in due time
planned for dissemination of false leads based on disinformation before,
during and after the murder. A number of people appear as disinformants.
The murder of Olof Palme is characterized by disinformation that destroyed
the investigation already at an early stage.
We start with the quite unique angle that we identify disinformants that
were part of the conspiracy. They can be tied together, and further directly
to US intelligence services. Thus, we can prove that the killing of UN peace
broker and Swedish Prime Minister at February 28, 1986, was a state-controlled
operation, and probably the most serious and still not revealed part of
what later became known as the Iran-Contra affair.
The Palme Investigation Group has over time collected a large material
pointing in different directions. They have followed these leads, starting
with the crime scene at Sveavägen, and with people they thought had
a motive for killing Olof Palme. However, they never solved the murder,
and they didn't manage to systemize, analyze and connect the leads.
It has turned out to be impossible to get on from Sveavägen where there
were almost no firm leads that could be followed and deliver results. Also,
the investigation material contains a lot of international aspects. These
two identifiers led us to think about the possibility of a state-controlled
murder, in which a typical feature is to keep the crime scene virtually
chemically void of leads that can be followed.
Another feature - actually the reason why the crime scene is clean - is
the thorough preparation that always takes place in front of a state-controlled
murder. A third feature is the post-murder operations related to the murder
and the investigation, which partly are prepared in advance and partly are
implemented and adjusted afterwards. These aim i. a. at taking control of
and directing the investigation, sweeping away any real leads that are discovered,
and creating false leads that mislead the investigators. Such false leads
will cost the investigators time and capacity that should have been used
The Possibility of Investigating International Intelligence Services
Many have pointed out that Western intelligence services and the entire
anti-Communist international community had good reasons to get rid of Palme
as one of the four "dangerous" socialist leaders of the 70's (Harold
Wilson, Britain, Gough Whitlam, Australia, Willy Brandt, West Germany, and
Olof Palme, who was the only one who returned in the 80s.). There is no
lack of statements from people in these communities, in Sweden or elsewhere,
that Palme should have been silenced. It is far from making such statements
to committing murder - yet it cannot be ruled out.
US Congress investigations have documented that the CIA (Central Intelligence
Agency - the US intelligence service) conducted political assassinations
during the Cold War, just like its Russian counterpart KGB (the civilian
part of the Soviet intelligence service). In the case of the CIA, we have
been told that targets mostly were Third World leaders (in addition to coup
d'états). There is also much evidence of organized conspiracies involving
groups within the CIA relating for example to the coup in Chile and the
assassination of President Salvador Allende, the assassinations of John
F Kennedy, President of the USA, and Aldo Moro, Prime Minister of Italy,
as well as the attempts on the life of French President Charles de Gaulle.
Of course, there has been a lot of speculation around this also in the case
of the murder of PM Olof Palme. In 1994, the Swedish Government appointed
a commission of trusted senior officials with a large staff of various experts
to "investigate the investigation" and recommend further action
- called "Granskningskommissionen" and abbreviated "GK".
In its 1999 report, GK asked the question: "How can the murder of a
statesman at all be investigated when an international background is suspected?"
GK found that almost no investigation of the CIA had taken place, and believed
that disclosing a possible operation led by for example the CIA would require
completely different competence resources and implementation power, as well
as a basic analysis that was completely missing in the Investigation Group
(GK p. 685-686).
In his book about the initial murder investigation 1986-87 (Holmér
1988:59), the former Palme Chief Investigator Hans Holmér leaves
the impression that the murder investigation also included the possibility
of an international conspiracy - but this was rejected by GK.
In other words: The possibility that powerful international intelligence
services, or groups around these, were responsible for the murder was never
investigated. The Commission recounts a single attempt made by then Palme
Deputy Chief Investigator Ingemar Krusell: In a letter dated May 5, 1988,
he asked for help from the Foreign Ministry and the Security Police (SÄPO)
to launch an investigation into the CIA's possible involvement in the assassination
(GK p. 435-436).
You can read Krusell's letter
(in English translation) here.
You can read Leopold Report's
interview with Krusell (in English translation) here.
Hence, we started our approach by focusing at asking GK's question "How
can the murder of a statesman at all be investigated when an international
background is suspected?". We also started developing a basic analysis.
We found that it is not possible to get on from Sveavägen, except that
the absence of leads actually is a lead by itself, in as much as this is
an attribute of a well-planned state-controlled murder. This is why we prefer
to pay attention to other features that indicate thorough preparations and
extensive post-murder operations, to see if it is possible to find evidence
of an international conspiracy this way.
We therefore studied extensive information from Sweden and many other countries
to discover circumstances and persons that could be linked to the events
before, during, and after the murder. This aimed at proving or ruling out
the possibility of an international conspiracy.
For background, we collected knowledge about a series of state-controlled
murders and coup d'états that all were contemporarily denied, but
later proven, with substantial volumes of evidence now available to the
public. The idea was through analysis to consider whether it was possible
to find elements of operational solutions and patterns that could indicate
that the Palme murder was a state-sponsored, or even worse, a state-controlled
We primarily use the GK report as a reference base for the Palme murder,
since this is an authorized collection of documentation, and despite some
shortcomings still a guarantee that the fundamental parts of the information
we use as evidence are accurate.
We worked backwards with the first minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and
years before the murder. There is much one can follow in all these time
dimensions, but no quick way to find short paths that not only bring us
to an international conspiracy, but also bring us down to Sveavägen.
An aspect we worked on a lot was the fact that state-controlled murders
or coup d'états very often are preceded by a period in which the
conspirators spend a lot of resources on psychological warfare, destabilization,
and everything else that makes it possible to create a "coup climate",
that is, creating an atmosphere of strife and confrontation in the target
area, which eventually would make many feel happy with a "final solution".
Such a strategy is often developed in stages. Initially, the hope is that
sufficient pressure on the system - or the person - eventually will make
the problem solve itself (the state leader withdraws, loses an election,
or similar). When this strategy fails, what remains is simply elimination.
In front of the 1982 Swedish national election, anti-socialists, extremists
and Palme haters expected that the Social Democrats would lose, but Olof
Palme returned as Prime Minister, despite intensive hate propaganda. This
created a foundation for the elimination of Palme that could be used by
the conspirators. In the 1985 national election, Palme was again victorious,
again despite an intensified hate propaganda, concurrent with accusations
from military and extreme right-wing circles that he didn't react strongly
enough against the alleged Soviet submarine operations violating Swedish
It is disappointing that the Security Police (SÄPO) and the Palme investigators
didn't see these connections, albeit they did investigate a number of groups
and individuals that clearly had tried to discredit Palme, and equally obviously
had contacts in the US. This is a known pattern that both the Swedish Military
Intelligence and the Security Police should have been obliged to look into
at the latest when Sweden's PM had been murdered. Instead, all suspects
were investigated only in the well-known perspective of looking for solitary
lunatics and political extremists (with one exception - the false Kurdish
lead, to be discussed later). Anybody who had an alibi confirming he was
not at Sveavägen at the time of the murder was deemed to have nothing
to do with it.
We used the same methodology for the period after the murder, to see whether
there were planned post-murder operations that could be natural parts of
a state-controlled murder. Having in particular a possible US operation
in mind, we searched specifically for disinformation in connection with
similar world-wide operations. It was particularly interesting to discover
that the same disinformation manufacturers and operators were present at
almost every similar event through many years - and that they showed up
even after the Palme murder.
We present in this series of articles the quickest and safest way to establish
an international conspiracy: Disinformation directed specifically towards
the Palme Investigation Group. It is obvious that GK worked a lot on evaluating
the testimonies that proved to be misleading for the investigators. In contrast
to the Investigation Group, GK did not complacently settle with discarding
leads that lead nowhere. It also understood that disinformation can be a
lead by itself (pages 685-687 and 699-701). Hence, GK branded a number of
people as disinformants that should have been further investigated precisely
in this capacity. Instead of doing this, the investigators had over-investigated
the face value of the leads (GK page 686). One might ask what they were
doing when they did not afterwards follow up on GK's conclusions.
The consequence is that the disinformants achieved what they wanted: The
investigators were duped and threw away many years of work that could have
been spent better. This is a clear piece of evidence of post-murder operations
in connection with a state-controlled murder.
We have closely scrutinized the three selected US disinformants from the
Palme investigation before as well as after the murder, to see whether they
can be connected, whether they were part of a conspiracy, and whether they
can be linked to the US intelligence services. We have further analyzed
the Palme investigators' work in connection with these disinformants. Our
analysis shows that the disinformation campaign they participated in was
so successful directly because of the FBI's conduct, when the Swedish authorities
attempted to investigate these people. This is a very serious discovery.
We fully understand that the Swedish authorities asked the FBI for help,
after the CIA had been very "helpful" from day one of the investigation,
also in Stockholm. Conveniently, CIA experts on bugging and interception
were in Stockholm at the time of the murder.
The Stockholm newspaper Aftonbladet wrote that the Security Police (SÄPO)
in connection with the initial murder investigation conducted surveillance
of a Russian diplomat in cooperation with the CIA:
"The CIA helped SÄPO bug the Russian diplomat. This appears from
Chief Prosecutor Jan Danielsson's investigation into illegal eavesdropping."
SÄPO should have implemented quite different practices in relation
to this "help", since Olof Palme's background raised the possibility
of an international conspiracy. They should have seen the warning signals,
and undertaken a quite different analysis.
The Three Selected Disinformants/Provocateurs
Among many disinformants appearing in the Palme murder investigation, we
have for a starter chosen three that we present in this and two subsequent
1. They were part of a team of people who knew each other and worked towards
a common goal to sabotage the murder investigation, with three different
2. We can link the group to US intelligence.
3. They were protected by the FBI when the Palme Investigation Group submitted
inquiries about two of them. The FBI did its utmost to cover up known information,
and lied to the Investigation Group.
4. As a disinformation team, they were tasked to continue disturbing the
Investigation Group as long as possible.
5. Their superiors had in advance decided that the two of them who identified
the CIA as guilty of the murder at a convenient time would be revealed as
fakes. This would raise the threshold for continued investigation directed
towards the CIA in general, and cause internal conflicts within the Investigation
We also intend to present a plausible explanation for why parts of the US
intelligence community chose to launch an attack on the Palme investigation
precisely at this time (September 1988).
Once all of this is established, it will be obvious that the intention was
not to free Christer Pettersson (the bum who was convicted of the murder,
but finally acquitted in a higher court) or other solitary maniacs. It will
also appear that it is time to start a new Palme investigation with all
the required expertise, and in open and honest cooperation with US authorities.
Disinformant #1: Professor Robert Harkavy
The following is the GK's analysis of Harkavy's disinformation (GK page
See a summary of GK's full discussion on RK.
"The discussion about Professor Robert H. speaks for itself. Robert
H. must realistically be regarded as a disinformant, and has as such been
allowed to draw excessively on the investigative capacity. The Investigation
Group could at a fairly early stage have discarded his information. Instead,
they conducted long conversations with him, thereby taking resources from
the investigation. In this case, as well as for other disinformants, we
miss the Police's professional assessment about the informant's capability,
reliability and credibility."
The Commission's main discussion about Harkavy can be found in the report's
pages 504-508. It appears that he was allowed to keep up with his activities
from January 1990 until March 1995. The implication is that an American
professor was undertaking an activity directed against the Murder Investigation
Group and the Swedish state for more than five years.
Who was this man? We have investigated him thoroughly, and we took in particular
an interest in his impressive CV. It was originally posted on this site,
which for some reason has been taken down, but we have reposted it here.
Harkavy was a professor at Pennsylvania State University, one of the state's
two largest universities. His background and work is so extensive and impressive
that it immediately was clear that we are not dealing with a typical liar
and deceiver. What made a man of this calibre, who had been so much trusted
and had so extensive competence and knowledge, engage in disinformation
and activities against Swedish authorities?
Here is a selection from his CV and other sources that clarifies his general
profile, his connections, and the unlimited confidence he was trusted with
from all the various defence and security agencies:
* From 1958 to 1966, he was a Reserve Officer in the artillery in the US
Army, where he advanced to Lieutenant.
* In 1969, he received fellowships to work within the US Arms Control and
* From 1977, he has written at least three articles on foreign and security
policy for the journal Orbis, published by the Foreign Policy Research Institute
(FPRI) at the University of Pennsylvania, the neighbour university to the
Pennsylvania State University where he was employed.
* From 1977 to 1978, he had scholarships to work with the US Navy War College,
Newport, Rhode Island, to write a book on "Great Power Competition
for Overseas Bases."
* In September 1981, he lectured on "Arms Resupply During Conflict"
at the Annual Conference of the Georgetown Centre for Strategic and International
* In August 1982, he lectured on "The Strategic Bases and Basing"
on an FPRI conference in Washington.
* In 1982, he attended symposiums hosted by CSIS on nuclear proliferation.
* In October 1983, he lectured on "Some Lessons of Recent Wars in the
Third World" at the Annual Conference of the CSIS.
* From 1982 to 1983, he was Visiting Research Professor at the US Army College,
Strategic Studies Institute, Carlisle. His area of responsibility was given
as "Research Leading to Publications on Arms Resupply and 'Lessons
of War'; participant, team research for the Office of Deputy Chief of Staff,
Operations and Plans, Department of the Army. "
* From 1983 to 1984, he worked on a grant from the Strategic Institute,
US College, to lead a conference on "The Lessons of Recent Wars in
the Third World" and to publish a book in this connection.
* In the summer of 1985, he stayed in Stockholm for a research project at
invitation from SIPRI (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute),
funded by a Fulbright scholarship.
* In 1985, he was one of the editors of the anthology "The Lessons
of Recent Wars in the Third World: Approaches and Case Studies", and
in 1987 for a similar publication with "Comparative Dimensions"
added to the title.
* In 1989, SIPRI published Harkavys book "The Global Foreign Military
* In 1990, his essay "The United States Coping Without Bases in Europe"
was part of a SIPRI anthology.
* During the period 1991-92, he delivered lectures at SIPRI and the Swedish
International Affairs Institute "on various aspects of ongoing research
in Third World Conflict" (this was in the middle of the period when
GK claims that he operated as a disinformant).
* 1992, he had a research contract with the Department of Defence with the
theme "The Military Geography and the Third World Conflict."
* In the summer of 2005, the Naval War College Review published Harkavys
article "Thinking about Basing" (Naval War College Review, Summer
2005, Vol.58, No.3), which i. a. dealt with the Cold War in the 80s and
the use of low intensity conflict (which i. a. includes the kind of activities
that were carried out by extreme right-wingers against Palme and Sweden.)
Back to the article!
The CV shows that Harkavy throughout his career was highly integrated in
the entire US military and security establishment. His work focused on conflicts
and wars in the Third World, low intensity warfare, psychological warfare,
etc. from an official US point of view. His work has been based on information
from and engagement for the military and civilian US intelligence services.
There is therefore reason to believe that Harkavy has had access to the
deepest secrets of the American defence and security establishment.
He has from the beginning to the end worked with the same international
matters that Palme was concerned with - but from the opposite angle. Palme
and the Swedish neutrality has almost certainly been a theme and a problem
in many of Harkavy's lectures and presentations. Only in Sweden did Harkavy
work on peace issues!
If Harkavy honestly thought he had something to contribute with to solve
the Palme murder, his contribution, given his background, would of course
have been well reasoned, professionally prepared, and quality assured. But
this stands in sharp contrast to what GK writes on Harkavy's visit December
31, 1989 at the Swedish Embassy in Washington (this was his first contact
with Swedish authorities as a disinformant):
"He [said that he] had taken an interest in the murder of Olof Palme,
and had during his visit to the embassy speculated around the various murder
theories. Robert H had made a somewhat nervous impression".
In the beginning, the professor approached the investigators primarily via
intermediaries, such as the Swedish embassy in Washington, the FBI, the
US Embassy in London, Interpol, colleagues, and so on, before he established
Harkavy visited Sweden several times. His stay at SIPRI in the summer of
1985 makes the man even more interesting, since SIPRI was probably the Swedish
institution most knowledgeable about Palme's thoughts and plans. At the
time, also Emma Rothschild was at SIPRI. She was an English peace researcher
who often lived in Stockholm and was believed to have a relationship with
Palme. Palme wanted i. a. to appoint her as head of SIPRI, but withdrew
the proposal because of opposition. She was also Palme's travelling companion
and secretary at several international meetings where he played a central
According to GK, Harkavy later made contact with her. This could have been
part of his disinformation and intelligence missions. He i. a. gave her
a photo of a Moroccan, Abo T, who Harkavy imagined as Palme's murderer.
He wanted Lisbet Palme to see the photo to compare with the people she had
seen at Västerlånggatan (the PM's residence) in the days before
the murder. In 1991, Harkavy participated at a SIPRI conference with Emma
Rothschild. Whether the PM's wife ever saw the photo is unknown. Harkavy
has also in his contacts with the investigators claimed that he knew Ebbe
Carlsson (a Social Democrat who got involved in an unsuccessful parallel
investigation) very well. Whether he in that manner also helped keeping
the PKK lead (the theory that Kurds had murdered Palme) alive is unknown.
The next article deals with the second of the three selected disinformation
agents, William Herrmann, who took part in the conspiracy together with
Granskningskommissionen (GK) (1999): Brottsutredningen efter mordet på
statsminister Olof Palme. Granskningskommissionens betänkande. ("The
Criminal Investigation after the Murder of Prime Minister Olof Palme. The
Commission's Report.") SOU 1999:88.
Harkavy, Robert (no date): CV, downloaded 28 May, 2006, from http://polisci.la.psu.edu/faculty/Harkavy/cv.html,
site later removed.
Holmér, Hans (1988): Olof Palme är skjuten ("Olof Palme
Has Been Shot"). Wahlström & Widstrand.
Robert Harkavy's (Robert H)
Summary of GK's recount of Harkavy's contacts with the Palme
In January, 1990, Robert H. had contacted the Swedish
Embassy in Washington and told the officials there that he had seen a photograph
of Abo T in the New York Times. This person had been sentenced to life imprisonment
in Sweden, and Robert H. claimed that he was identical with the person he
had met at restaurant Bolaget in Stockholm in the summer of 1985. He could
be Olof Palme's murderer, since he matched the description of a limping
The man was Moroccan, and he had told Harkavy a strange story suggesting
that he had contacts in the US Army. Robert H had made particular note of
the man's frightening, evil face and strong muscular body. The man had a
cane, and was limping heavily. During the embassy visit, Robert H. had speculated
around various murder theories. He had made a somewhat nervous impression.
Robert H returned to the embassy by telephone a few weeks later, asking
if somebody from Stockholm had been in contact. He stated that he now had
become familiar with the FBI "that understands nothing of the matter".
Robert H had been convinced that his instinct was right and that he had
a substantial piece of the puzzle with regard to solving the murder. He
had expressed that he was afraid that someone would cheat him for the reward.
In 1990, Conny W. told the investigators that Robert H. had told her interesting
things about the lifetime prisoner and terrorist Abo T.
The US Embassy in London contacted the Investigation Group via Interpol,
stating that a secret source employed by a university in Pennsylvania had
contacted the FBI. The source was a professor in a humanities subject. He
had read in the New York Times that Abo T was suspected of involvement in
the Lockerbie disaster (the blowing up of a Pan Am passenger flight mid-air
over the Scottish village of Lockerbie on December 21, 1988, which claimed
277 lives, including the Swedish UN Commissioner Bernt Carlsson, a close
associate of Olof Palme).
The source has then told about an incident at a restaurant in Stockholm
in the summer of 1985 (it is not expressively stated by GK that the source
at this particular point was Robert H, but it is pretty obvious from the
In February and March, 1990, RH was in direct contact with the investigators.
He was shown recent photos of Abo T that did not match those he had seen
in the New York Times. According to the newspaper, Abo T came to Sweden
on a false passport. RH pointed out that he did not think the photo in the
false passport was of Abo T.
In early August, 1990, RH proposed certain investigative actions. At the
same time, the investigators interrogated Abo T. He said he had spent the
murder night with his wife and good friends. After he came to Sweden in
1983, he had never been damaged in any leg, and had never visited the restaurant
In November, 1990, two investigators met Robert H in Stockholm. He had nothing
new to add, and the investigators told him that Abo T had been thoroughly
investigated in connection with the lifetime sentence. They also told him
that there was no indication that Palme's murderer had a limp; this was
taken from newspaper reports that the Investigation Group had chosen not
to deny, as this could help screening off witnesses that only echoed the
In 1992, RH met again with the investigators, and stated that he no longer
believed that the person he had met at Bolaget was Abo T. Instead, certain
events had led him to believe that Israelis were behind the assassination.
In 1991, RH had been in contact with the Israeli Mossad agent Juval Aviv,
who claimed that Abo T was Palme's killer, that the CIA was behind the murder,
and that the Head of Counterespionage had organized the whole thing. The
motive was the US arms trade, the Iran-Contra affair, etc. RH claimed that
Aviv has shown him a list of people killed in the Iran-Contra affair. Besides
PM Olof Palme, Colonel Carl Algernon, UN Mediator Bernt Carlsson, and others
had been on the list. (Algernon was weapons and munitions export controller.
He died in January, 1987, after he jumped or was pushed in front of a subway
train in Stockholm).
RH recounted that the journalist Josef F at the International Herald Tribune
in Paris said he had met with Bernt Carlsson before his last flight, and
that Carlsson had told him he was one of only five people who knew what
had happened to Palme. Some of these had died under mysterious circumstances.
Carlsson's sister's husband, who worked in a liquor store where RH used
to buy whisky, had said his wife had gone to Carlsson's apartment about
five days after the air crash. The apartment had then been in total disarray,
as if someone was looking for something.
From 1992 to 1995, RH was in contact with one of the investigators. A protocol
was opened, and partially new information emerged. Among other things, RH
said he had seen a man who resembled the person he met at Bolaget entering
the Libyan Embassy.
After March, 1995, the investigators have not heard from RH.
PART 2: Disinformant #2: William
PART 3: Disinformant#3: Oswald