MLK was one of the most inspiring and effective leaders in US history. Like Malcolm X, his struggle for civil rights broadened from race issues to larger concepts of class, values and peace.
Shortly before he was murdered, he was involved in organizing a “poor people’s movement” and march on Washington DC. He had also become an outspoken critic of the Vietnam War. King was considering running for office on a presidential ticket with Dr. Benjamin Spock on an anti-poverty, anti-war platform.
He had been under surveillance for years by the FBI–in official attempts to tie him to communism and blackmail him. FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover was, by all accounts, obsessed with stopping King.
The 60’s were a different era. Popular revolution and truly radical progressive change were concrete possibilities. Civil unrest and “race riots” had erupted in many American cities. By some twisted institutional logic, the King assassination may have been “justified” or sanctioned in terms of “National Security.”
After you digest the facts of the MLK assassination, we hope you find it harder to go along with a system that killed him. He stood for love, justice, equality and peace. He is held up as a national hero, with his own national holiday. And yet it is this very system that killed him and continues to cover up the truth.
Since his death, King’s popular image has been diluted and stripped of significance. In many people’s minds, he’s just that 60s black leader who said, “I have a dream.” There is little connection to his actual revolutionary vision. This is the true tragedy and the likely motivation behind the King assassination.
Like other assassinated leaders, Martin Luther King had the ability to bring words and ideas to life, to inspire passion, and to wake people up. Such leadership is very dangerous to a system built on deception and manipulation.
We hope our readers will not only investigate MLK’s assassination but also explore his life, words, speeches and ideas. Great places to start: The King Center, “Beyond Vietnam” Speech, Nobel Prize Speech, “Drum Major for Justice” Speech.
A civil trial by the King family in 1999 found the defendants Loyd Jowers “and other unknown co-conspirators” guilty in the wrongful death of Martin Luther King Jr. In the trial, these “unknown co-conspirators” were specifically a named as “the United States Government, the State of Tennessee, the City of Memphis and Memphis Police Department, James Earl Ray, Earl Clark (top marksman in Memphis PD) and Frank Liberto (mafia kingpin)…” and “J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI, Richard Helms and the CIA, and the military.” This historical trial was effectively “blacked-out” of the U.S. media as the implications were simply too devastating to the establishment. 3
Ray consistently claimed he had a handler named “Raul,” with whom he was involved in gun running operation. Despite detailed documentation of this individual’s presence and existence (witness accounts, photographs, records, etc.), the government maintains that Raul never existed.
At Ray’s evidentiary hearing, a former FBI ballistics expert testified that not even the most skilled gunman could have accurately fired a rifle in the manner claimed by the government prosecution.
The FBI leaked information to the local press that King was staying at the white-owned Holiday Inn, causing him to switch his accomodations to the less secure Motel Lorraine, where he was killed.
An unknown man pretending to be with King’s party, came to the motel the day before King arrived and specifically requested a balcony room on the second floor.
The bullet recovered from King’s body has not been adequately tested and has not been proven to match Ray’s alleged murder weapon.
Shortly before the killing, King’s police security detail was reduced from eight officers to two officers, in spite of more than fifty death threats against the civil rights leader. Just hours before the shooting, a black officer named Edward Redditt was sent home because of a mysterious threat against his life. This left a single policeman on the immediate scene.