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Professional American Disinformation Agents
Sabotaged the Investigation into the Murder
of Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme

PART 2: Disinformant #2: arms dealer William Herrmann

PART 3: Disinformant#3: professor Oswald LeWinter

PART 4: The three disinformants made a joint attack on the Palmemurder investigation

PART 5: Disinformants in the Palme Murder Case Tied to the Reagan Administration’s Propaganda Institute; Boss was Ambassador to Sweden.

In Swedish

Part 1

Disinformant #1: Professor Robert Harkavy

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 better.

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.

Our Investigation

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 operation.
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 sovereignty.

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.

Post-Murder Operations

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 articles.
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 stories.
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 Group.

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 687):
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 Disarmament Agency.
* 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 Studies (CSIS).
* 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 Presence".
* 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 direct contact.

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 role.

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 Harkavy.

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, 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 Investigation Group:

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 man.
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 context).

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 Bolaget.

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 newspapers.
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 Herrmann

PART 3: Disinformant#3: Oswald LeWinter