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Sender: owner-imap@webmap.missouri.edu
Date: Sat, 28 Jun 97 00:15:26 CDT
From: Workers World <ww@wwpublish.com>
Organization: WW Publishers
Subject: Gov't behind murder of Martin Luther King
Article: 13603

Slain leader's family says: Government behind the murder of Martin Luther King

By Monica Moorehead, Workers World, 3 July 1997

Dexter Scott King stated in an interview aired June 19 on ABC-TV's Turning Point that he and his family believe President Lyndon Baines Johnson, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Central Intelligence Agency were responsible for the shooting death of his father, civil- rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. King was assassinated on April 4, 1968, at the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis, Tenn.

The King family and former King aide Andrew Young are asking the Clinton administration to create a congressionally funded commission to encourage witnesses to come forward. They believe new evidence would substantiate their claim.

This spring members of the King family went to a Tennessee prison to visit the ailing James Earl Ray, convicted of Dr. King's killing. In a news conference afterward, the King family said they were convinced Ray had nothing to do with the murder.

A congressional inquiry had earlier come to the conclusion that Ray carried out this atrocity as an individual, but left open the possibility that he could have been part of a much broader conspiracy. After being sentenced to a 99-year prison term, Ray then recanted his testimony, saying his lawyers had encouraged him to plead guilty to avoid the death penalty. Ray's lawyers are now seeking a new trial to clear his name before he succumbs to liver cancer.

Dexter King said of President Johnson's role, Based on the evidence that I've been shown, I would think that it would be very difficult for something of that magnitude to occur on his watch and he not be privy to it. ... I am told that it was part and parcel Army intelligence, CIA, FBI. ... I think we knew it all along.


Beginning in the 1950s, Dr. King was a target of the FBI's Cointelpro program, created by the fascistic FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. Short for Counter-intelligence Program, this was a diabolical plot to undermine, divide and ultimately destroy the Black-liberation movement.

Its main targets were the more revolutionary wing of the struggle, led by Malcolm X and the Black Panther Party, as well as the American Indian Movement. But Dr. King was also a target of Cointelpro surveillance, wiretappings and anti- communist smear campaigns.

While his wing of the movement was pacifist, the Establishment regarded it as threatening because it brought out the Black masses, especially in the South.

Government harassment of Dr. King increased when he began to link the issue of poverty to the U.S. war in Vietnam. The U.S. ruling class, especially those making tremendous profits from this genocidal war, could not tolerate statements like this one by King: Many [social] programs we are talking about have been stifled because of that war in Vietnam. I am absolutely convinced that the frustrations are going to increase in the ghettos of our nation as long as the war continues.

The 1977 book Code Name `Zorro': The Murder of Martin Luther King, Jr., by Mark Lane and Dick Gregory, says that President Johnson told a cabinet member, That goddamn n---- r preacher may drive me out of the White House. The book asks why it took the FBI 15 days to arrest Ray after the assassination, and why there has been no official report matching the bullet that killed King with the rifle Ray allegedly used.


The assassination of King was carefully plan ned to derail the planned Poor People's March on Washington. This ambitious offensive, set for late April 1968, meant to bring thousands of poor people with tents to camp out at the White House until their just demands for jobs and an end to poverty were met.

On March 4, 1968, one month before King was shot, a secret FBI memorandum said: Prevent the rise of a messiah who could unify, and electrify, the militant black nationalist movement. Malcolm X might have been such a messiah; he is a martyr of the movement today. King could be a real contender for this position should he abandon his supposed obedience to white liberal doctrines.

J. Edgar Hoover is known to have labeled King a national security threat and the most notorious liar in the world.

The King family has publicized their accusations in the midst of a Democratic administration. Obviously, they do not expect Clinton to do the right thing about the assassination of the most prominent U.S. civil-rights leader of the 20th century.