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Author: Trump Should Ask Putin About '81 Pope Murder Attempt

Newsmax TV's "America Talks Live"

By    |   Tuesday, 02 May 2017 05:58 PM

President Donald Trump should confront Vladimir Putin about the Soviet Union's involvement in the 1981 assassination attempt of Pope John Paul II, Paul Kengor, who uncovered a startling CIA report proving the Soviets' culpability, told Newsmax TV.

"Those who perpetuated the crime in Moscow haven't admitted it," Kengor, author of "A Pope and a President: John Paul II, Ronald Reagan, and the Extraordinary Untold Story of the 20th Century," told host Bill Tucker on "America Talks Live." "Let's get an admission, maybe even an apology, from Putin.

"If there's anybody out there [of a] high enough level in the United States to ask [Russian president] Putin about the Soviet role in the shooting . . . it would be Donald Trump."

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In his new book, Kengor revealed for the first time how the CIA concluded the Soviet Union's foreign military intelligence agency was behind the near-fatal shooting of the pontiff in 1981.

But the agency's bombshell discovery was allegedly never made public because the Reagan administration feared it could lead to World War III.

"Some people will say this happened 36 years ago – well, no, come on – [The New York Times columnist] William Safire called the hit on the pope the crime of the last century," Kengor, a political science professor at Grove City College, told Tucker. "The crime of the last century still hasn't been openly resolved."

It has long been long suspected Moscow was involved in John Paul II's murder attempt by a lone gunman, Kengor has, for the first time, pinpointed the culprit as the GRU, the Soviet foreign military intelligence agency.

And unnervingly, its members included two men now serving under Russian President Vladimir Putin. That conclusion was reached by then-CIA Director William J. Casey, who launched an investigation under the auspices of Reagan, who was intensely anti-Communist like the pope.

"[They] saw the Soviet Union was truly an evil empire," Kengor told Tucker. "For 40-55 years all the popes were Italian. There had never been a Slovak pope and certainly never a pope from Poland.

"For the College of Cardinals to pluck from the heart of the Soviet empire, a Polish pope, Ronald Reagan saw that as providential and as utterly crucial.

"It couldn't have been better for him and his plans to try to take down Soviet communism and win the Cold War."

Reagan developed a close relationship with the Pope – they met five times – so when the pontiff was shot, Reagan quickly launched an investigation.

"Everybody looked to the KGB at the time, and it's one of the reasons why nobody was able to figure this out," Kengor said.

"It wasn't until a very small net group under CIA Director Bill Casey looked toward the Soviet GRU military intelligence that they found the trail.

"If you really want to know where the bodies were buried and who did the worst, ugliest hits and the nastiest jobs in old Soviet Union, it was the GRU. But they did it with the go-ahead and the approval of the head of the KGB."

Adding to the intrigue is Putin was employed by the KGB at the time of the pope was shot.

"There's no way Putin would've known about this," Kengor said. "This was super, super tight. Super high level. And he was way too low on the ladder.

"But I think what could be a possibility is that maybe one of the reasons all this material still isn't out today, 30 some years after it happened, is that Vladimir Putin has said the collapse of the Soviet Union was the greatest catastrophe of the end of the 20th century.

"He has been a major protector of the GRU, of the KGB. . . . It's quite possible that Putin today . . . might well know exactly what happened."

And just why would the Soviets want to kill the Pope?

"They really genuinely hated religion; they hated the Catholic Church; they hated all churches," Kengor said. "They had led the charge against Pope Pius XII calling him Hitler's Pope.

"That was actually a phrase that started by radio Moscow under [Joseph] Stalin in the 1940s. They did a character assassination of him, and it really shows that they considered the election of this Polish Pope to be a literal, mortal threat to their communist empire.

"Which is why Reagan understood that the Pope was so important. . . . But I think for Moscow it meant we need to get rid of him."

In his book, Kengor wrote Casey met privately with Reagan to tell him of the CIA's shocking conclusions.

"The information was so explosive that the report and its dramatic conclusion have never been released or even acknowledged," Kengor said. "To this day, it remains the most secret report of the Cold War."

And for good reason.

"Keep in mind the context: Tensions in the Cold War had never run higher," Kengor wrote in his book. "The Soviets had been on the advance in the 1970s, but now President Reagan and his partner in the Vatican were standing up to the threat of Soviet communism.

"The 1980s intensified fears of World War III between two nuclear-armed superpowers. Now imagine if news broke that the U.S. government had discovered a Soviet-orchestrated assassination attempt on the leader of the world's largest religion, who was a voice for those suffering under Soviet communism."

"A Pope and a President: John Paul II, Ronald Reagan, and the Extraordinary Untold Story of the 20th Century," is published by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute.

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President Donald Trump should confront Vladimir Putin about the Soviet Union's involvement in the 1981 assassination attempt of Pope John Paul II, Paul Kengor, who uncovered a startling CIA report proving the Soviets' culpability, told Newsmax TV.
assassination, CIA, Soviet Union, Vladimir Putin
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2017-58-02
Tuesday, 02 May 2017 05:58 PM
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