Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 3 Share on Twitter 1 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Exclusive to OpEdNews:
OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 1/13/14

MLK: Also a victim of NSA surveillance

By       (Page 2 of 3 pages) Become a premium member to see this article and all articles as one long page.     (# of views)   No comments
Author 65550
Message Abdus-Sattar Ghazali
Become a Fan
  (8 fans)
- Advertisement -

Days after his historic August 28, 1963 "I Have a Dream" speech, the FBI Director Edward Hoover circulated a memo that said, "In light of King's powerful, demagogic speech yesterday, we must mark him now, if we have not done so before, as the most dangerous Negro of the future in this Nation from the standpoint of Communism, the Negro and national security."

The U.S. Senate report of 1976 on COINTELPRO, the "Church Committee" Reports [2], found:

The FBI's campaign against Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. began in December 1963, four months after the famous civil rights March on Washington, when a nine-hour meeting was convened at FBI Headquarters to discuss various "avenues of approach aimed at neutralizing King as an effective Negro leader."   Following the meeting, agents in the field were instructed to "continue to gather information concerning King's personal activities " in order that we may consider using this information at an opportune time in a counterintelligence move to discredit him."  

About two weeks after that conference, FBI agents planted a microphone in Dr. King's bedroom at the Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C. 58 During the next two years, the FBI installed at least fourteen more "bugs" in Dr. King's hotel rooms across the country. Physical and photographic surveillances accompanied some of the microphone, coverage.

- Advertisement -

The FBI also scrutinized Dr. King's tax returns, monitored his financial affairs, and even tried to determine whether he had a secret foreign bank account.

In late 1964, a "sterilized" tape was prepared in a manner that would prevent attribution to the FBI and was "anonymously" mailed to Dr. King just before he received the Nobel Peace Prize.   Enclosed in the package with the tape was an unsigned letter which warned Dr. King, "your end is approaching . . . you are finished." The letter intimated that the tape might be publicly released, and closed with the following message:

King, there is only one thing left for you to do. You know what it is. You have just 34 days in which to do (this exact number has been selected for a specific reason, it has definite practical significance). You are done. There is but one way out for you. . . .  

- Advertisement -

Dr. King's associates have said he interpreted the message as an effort to induce him to commit suicide.

Between 1956 and 1971, the FBI operated COINTELPRO, for Counter Intelligence Program. Its purpose was to interfere with the activities of the organizations and individuals who were its targets or, in the words of long-time FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, to " expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit or otherwise neutralize" them . The first target was the Communist Party of the United States, but subsequent targets ranged from the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. and his Southern Christian Leadership Conference to organizations espousing women's rights to right wing organizations such as the National States Rights Party. [3]

A well-known example of COINTELPRO was the FBI's planting in 1964 of false documents about William Albertson, a long-time Communist Party official, that persuaded the Communist Party that Albertson was an FBI informant. Amid major publicity, Albertson was expelled from the party, lost all his friends, and was fired from his job. Until his death in an automobile accident in 1972, he tried to prove that he was not a snitch, but the case was not resolved until 1989, when the FBI  agreed to pay Albertson's widow $170,000 to settle her lawsuit against the government. [4]

COINTELPRO was eventually halted by J. Edgar Hoover after activists broke into a small FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania, in 1971, and released stolen documents about the program to the press. [5]

Conclusion

Dr. King's movement won the 1964 Civil Rights Act and other far reaching legislation in spite of the FBI's vicious campaign against him, America needs a similar movement to dismantle the surveillance state as disclosed by Edward Snowden.

- Advertisement -

Dr. King devoted his life to advancing equality, social justice and opportunity for all and voiced that everyone has a role to play making America what it ought to be. By serving on MLK day and throughout the year we honor Dr. King and help realize his dream of equality and opportunity for all. Let us not forget what he said about the responsibility of the individuals in uplifting the society:

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter- He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it."

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3

 

- Advertisement -

Must Read 2   Well Said 2   Valuable 2  
Rate It | View Ratings

Abdus-Sattar Ghazali Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
 
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

U.S. Muslims condemn killings of American diplomats in Libya

Pakistan's first Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan was assassinated by America

Are we living in Orwell's 1984 Oceania surveillance state?

2001-2011: A decade of civil liberties' erosion in America -- Part One

2001-2011: A decade of civil liberties' erosion in America -- Part Two

85 percent Muslims voted for President Obama