The LA Times reports that new questions are being raised about the 1961 death of former UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld. The story begins:
It was 1961 and the Cold War battle for influence in newly independent African states was sharply focused on the Congo.
And Hammarskjöld was operating in the middle, on a political knife’s edge, trying to help unify the newly independent DR Congo after the nation’s first democratically elected leader, Patrice Lumumba, had been kidnapped, tortured and killed (by a Congolese faction supported by Western governments and corporate interests, some say, worried about Lumumba’s friendly relations with the Soviet Union).
Hammarskjöld, a Swedish diplomat before taking the helm at the UN, was flying into Congo reportedly to arrange a truce and stabilize the country when his airplane crashed in northern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). Some witnesses reported seeing it shot down.
The Times story cites a new 61-page report that points to “significant new evidence” that would provide conclusive proof of whether the plane was shot down. The only problem is that the evidence is held by the US government’s National Security Agency (yes, the same agency that is sucking up our email and phone records). Even though this information has passed the traditional half century mark that would allow it to be made public, the NSA so far refuses to de-classify what it knows about the death of Hammarskjöld.