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The King Assassination and Pretense

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Message Bill Willers

The King Assassination and Pretense

"During the lifetime of great revolutionaries, the oppressing classes constantly hounded them, received their theories with the most savage malice, the most furious hatred and the most unscrupulous campaigns of lies and slander. After their death, attempts are made to convert them into harmless icons, to canonize them, so to say, and to hallow their names to a certain extent for the "consolation' of the oppressed classes and with the object of duping the latter, while at the same time robbing the revolutionary theory of its substance, blunting its revolutionary edge and vulgarizing it."

"   Vladimir Ilyich Lenin , 1917, The State and Revolution

Whatever one thinks of Lenin, those words describe perfectly events surrounding the life, death, and memorialization of Martin Luther King, Jr. What irony, this annual fanfare by a country that has given King a national holiday, an immense statue in Washington, DC, and has named countless schools and streets after him, all the while carefully avoiding facts surrounding his assassination. 

In 1999, there was a civil trial in Memphis, Tennessee, site of the assassination, that sifted through information that had become available in the 31 years following King's murder. The trial, Coretta Scott King et al. vs. Loyd Jowers et al., was a wrongful-death lawsuit. That Jowers was implicated in the murder rather than the patsy, James Earl Ray, pales beside the fact that the six black and six white jurors were unanimous in their determination that "governmental agencies" (specifically, the FBI and Army intelligence, as well as the Memphis Police Department) were involved in the conspiracy to kill King. A transcript of the trial is available at the King Center:   .  Snippet from the transcript: THE COURT: In answer to the question did Loyd Jowers participate in a conspiracy to do harm to Dr. Martin Luther King, your answer is yes. Do you also find that others, including governmental agencies, were party to this conspiracy as alleged by the defendant? "... THE JURY: Yes (in unison). 

Earlier, in 1976-78, a Subcommittee of the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) had been established to investigate King's murder. Subcommittee Chairperson, Walter Fauntroy, found his TV and phone were being tapped. CIA, FBI and military intelligence information was made unavailable and remains so. Although Fauntroy acknowledged that the Subcommittee had not been able to investigate the incident sufficiently, his inquiry simply ended with the official, but erroneous, conclusion that James Earl Ray had killed King. When it became known that Fauntroy was working on a book about his experience at HSCA, he became the target of a threatening Department of Justice investigation that induced him to terminate his book project and to refrain from further investigation of King's murder.  

As troubling as governmental complicity is the fact that mainstream journalists did not attend the trial. Theologian and activist James Douglass did attend the trial in its entirely, and his report, seen at this link, explains his experience, as well as his  interview of Walter Fauntroy . Moreover, the King family's attorney, William Pepper, published a book in 2003, "An Act of State: The Execution of Martin Luther King", that details material uncovered during the trial and that, like the trial itself, has been  shunned . There are also several speeches on YouTube (search "William Pepper mlk") in which Pepper presents assassination details along with a personal account of his relationship with King dating to the Vietnam War era. 

It would be difficult to cite a better example of the corrupt relationship between mainstream media and treacherous sectors of the US Government than the total disregard by American journalists of what, it can be argued, was the de facto "Trial of the 20th Century".  While trials involving celebrities are covered 24/7 by US media, not a paper, not a network, not PBS, covered it. And the blackout remains solidly in place, as no journalists will discuss it today. This fact alone reveals the nature of US journalism and the myth of its "independence/adversarial relationship with power". 

The whole story of King's death as presented by government and media is a lie, and it does not sit well that people who are supposed to think straight and to pursue truth accept it blindly. The way to honor King is to dispel the lies that have been created around his death. 

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Bill Willers is emeritus professor of biology, University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh. Founder/former director of the Superior Wilderness Action Network (SWAN), editor of 'Learning to Listen to the Land' and 'Unmanaged Landscapes', both from Island (more...)

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