...what most of us already knew. An Italian Parlimentary Commission has concluded, "beyond a reasonable doubt" that the Soviet Union was behind the 1981 plot to assassinate Pope John Paul II. While the draft report has no bearing on any judicial investigations, it would mark the first time any formal body has blamed the USSR for the attempt on the pontiff's life.
The Soviets feared John Paul because of his support for Poland's Solidarity trade union, and his efforts to end communist domination of the eastern bloc. The assassination plot was carried out by the KGB's Bulgarian proxies, who hired the trigger man, Turkey native Mehmet Ali Agca, who was recently released from an Italian prison. Agca has constantly changed his story on who hired him to kill the Pope, although he intially blamed the Soviets.
Twenty-five years after the shooting in St. Peter's Square, the assassination plot is a reminder of the Soviet Union's evil legacy, and an example of how far the Kremlin was willing to go to maintain its hold on Eastern Europe. And that begs another question: if the plot against John Paul had succeeded, would the KGB have been willing to order hits on the other major advocates of freedom in the eastern bloc, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and of course, Ronald Reagan.
And no, I'm not saying that John Hinckley was a KGB operative, although it galls me that Mr. Hinckley has served his "sentence" in a mental hosptial and he now gets weekend visits to his family's palatial estate in Virginia. Some punishment.