Dennis Sweeney, a student activist murdered Allard Lowenstein, the famed civil rights and anti-war activist. Lowenstein was suspected by many of fronting for the CIA. A Yale graduate, he marched in the Freedom Summer of 1964 in Mississippi, campaigned for Adlai Stevenson and Robert Kennedy. Yet he was a close friend of William F. Buckley, the garrulous CIA asset and Lowenstein’s conservative counterpart. He qualified for the Nixon enemy list, but associated with the coalition of felons occupying the White House. He ran the National Student Association before the CIA took over. Lowenstein was well known for his ability to attract energetic young volunteers for his political causes.
For several years, Lowenstein attempted to prove that a conspiracy was responsible for the deaths of John Kennedy, Robert Kennedy (ironically also killed by mind controlled assassin), and Martin Luther King Jr. and was also responsible for his own political downfall … a malevolent force that would explain the civil rights movement’s decline. Sweeney, who had protested with Lowenstein in Mississippi, shot his tumultuous mentor at Rockefeller Center. At the age of 37, Sweeney walked in to Mr. Lowenstein’s law office where he removed a pistol from the pocket of his windbreaker, shot his former mentor seven times, then laid down his weapon, lighted a cigarette, and waited for the police to take him away.
He maintained that the CIA, with Lowenstein’s help, had implanted him with a telemetric brain device fifteen years earlier, and made his life an unbearable torment. Voices were transmitted through his dental work, he said, and he attempted to silence them by filing his false teeth. Sweeney blamed remote “controllers” for the assassination of San Francisco mayor George Moscone.
Mr. Sweeney, the former Congressman’s student and ally in the civil-rights movement, was found not guilty by reason of insanity. Mr. Sweeney, whose disease was diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenia, said he believed Mr. Lowenstein led an international Jewish conspiracy that had tormented him for a decade. Greg Craig, who would later go on to be Bill Clinton ’s top lawyer, would say that as far back as six months before, Lowenstein had been fearful of Dennis’s mental state.
Indeed, at that time, Lowenstein had been supporting Ted Kennedy against Carter and, when he heard the news of Lowenstein’s murder, he was ashen. Kennedy interrupted his campaign and proclaimed,
…with his endless energy, with his papers, his clothes, his books, and seemingly his whole life jammed into briefcases, envelopes, and satchels — all of it carried with him everywhere, he was a portable and powerful lobby for progressive principles.
…”all by himself, he was more effective than an organization by the thousands. He was a one-man demonstration for civil rights; even when he walked alone. He was a multitude marching for peace. He had a gentle passion for the truth.” William Buckley, his sometimes rival, eulogized him….
Lowenstein was an Army veteran, and thus earned the right to be buried at Arlington. Appropriately, his plot is just near the graves of both Kennedy’s. The words on his stone contains a verse by Emerson, which Bobby Kennedy had given to Emerson in a note on a bus during the campaign. It read, “…If a single man plants himself on his convictions and there abide, the huge world will come around to him.”
On June 30, 2000, a judge found that Sweeney was no longer a danger to society and granted him a conditional release from all levels of custody.