70 Years On – Did CIA Cover Up Identity of US Journalist George Polk’s Killers?

On 21 April 1949 Gregoris Staktopoulos, a Greek reporter, was convicted after a nine-day show trial of murdering US journalist George Polk at the height of the Greek Civil War. But mystery still shrouds his death.

The body of George Polk, 34, was found floating in Salonika Bay in northern Greece in May 1948.

He had been tied up and had a single bullet wound to the back of the head.

Polk, a former pilot who fought for the US in the Second World War, was on assignment with the CBS network covering the Greek Civil War.

In 1946 a civil war broke out in Greece with the communist KKE seeking to take control of the country, which had only recently been liberated after occupation by the forces of fascist Italy and Nazi Germany.

​All across eastern Europe communists, backed by the Soviet Union and the Red Army, took over.

The Athens government, which was dominated by conservative and pro-Nazi sympathisers, many of whom had collaborated with the German and Italian occupiers, was supported by the British because of the fear of Greece, with its strategic position in the eastern Mediterranean, falling into pro-Soviet hands.

In 1947, the Labour government of Clement Attlee, struggling to rebuild the British economy after the devastation of the Second World War, asked the Americans to take over in Greece, Turkey and several other countries where the Soviets challenged the interests of the West.

​The US President launched the eponymous Truman…

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