In the aftermath of the Korean Air Lines disaster that shocked the world last September 1, the editors of the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner dealt with a series of nagging questions and their answers. Prominent among them was the following:
QUESTION: "Is there any reason to believe that an admittedly ultraright U.S. congressman traveling 007, Rep. Lawrence McDonald of Georgia, may have been deliberately assassinated aboard the flight?"
ANSWER: "While the [U.S.] government has made no such charge, McDonald's widow claims that her husband, the national chairman of the John Birch Society, was 'murdered.' She holds that it was no accident that 'the leading anti-Communist in the American government' had been on a plane that was 'forced into Soviet territory' and shot down."
There is no beginning or end to the Larry McDonald tragedy. His right-wing fanaticism drew him to the crueler side of blackmailers, burglars, assassins, terrorists, wiretappers, and people dedicated to waging a future war with the Soviet Union.
And there he was, last August 31 and September 1, apparently sitting all alone on Flight 007. If that was by Soviet design, then all of his entourage were Communists who knew in advance.
But since the American delegation was screened and cleared for travel with a congressman, then the CIA and U.S. agents knew something they wouldn't share with him – even if it was going to save his life.