Martin Luther KING, Jr., Assassinated, Apr 4, 1968 @ 6:01 PM CT
The FBI and Martin Luther King, Jr.
By S. Brian Willson
July 20, 2011
MLK: He still casts a giant shadow.
In December 1963, four months after the large civil rights march on Wash, DC, a nine-hr conference was held at FBI HQ to discuss ways to “neutralize” Martin Luther King, Jr. A prepared list of 21 proposals was discussed – “using” ministers, “disgruntled” acquaintances, “aggressive” newsmen, “colored” agents, Dr. King’s housekeeper, & a suggestion to use King’s wife or “placing a good looking female plant in King’s office” to develop info for use “at an opportune time in a counterintelligence move to discredit him” w/o embarrassment to the Bureau. [Pepper, W. F. (2003). “An Act of State: The Execution of Martin Luther King.” London: Verso, p. 11].•••••
The reason King Finally had to be completely neutralized:
After King’s radical speech on April 4, 1967 against the Viet Nam War, that included a call for a revolution away from capitalism toward a socially just society, he began discussing strategies to address the widening gap between rich & poor, i.e., taking the class problem head-on. By November 1967, his plan for a Poor People’s Campaign was taking shape. This included a permanent tent city of as many as 500,000 people to be called “Resurrection City” encamped on Wash., DC’s mall starting May 1968, to remain until the government re-directed all its money devoted to the barbaric war to a new socially just society at home. The plan was based on need to “disrupt” cities to create a crisis without destroying life or property. King wanted to create an action that did “not count on government good will,” that would be a “force that interrupts its functioning.” The plan was to be “dislocative and even disruptive” because “pressureless persuasion does not move the power structure.” He had concluded that the “old style” kind of march on Washington “isn’t sufficiently crisis-packed.” King’s words were simply becoming too threatening to maintenance of the status quo: “There must be a radical reordering of our national priorities…We’re not going to Washington to beg. I hope we are beyond that stage. We are going to Washington to demand what is ours.” [Pepper, W. F. (2003). “An Act of State: The Execution of Martin Luther King.” London: Verso, p. 7; Garrow, D. J. (1988). “Bearing the Cross.” NY: Vintage, pp. 574-624].
On March 3, 1968, one month before King’s April 4 assassination, a memo by J. Edgar Hoover identified an FBI “Counter-Intelligence Program” directed against “Black Nationalist Hate-Groups:”
1. “Prevent the coalition of black nationalist groups…[which] might be the first step toward a real ‘Mau Mau’ in America, the beginning of a true black revolution.”
2. “Prevent the rise of a ‘messiah’ who could unify and electrify the militant black nationalist movement…King could be a very real contender for this position should he abandon his supposed ‘obedience’ to ‘white liberal doctrines’ (nonviolence) and embrace black nationalism…” [Trager, J. (1992). “The People’s Chronology.” NY: Henry Holt and Co., p. 1015].
Neutralization in Viet Nam
In Viet Nam at the same time in 1968, the US was carrying out a separate program called PHOENIX to “neutralize” as many as 3,000 Vietnamese community leaders/month, using CIA-trained assassination squads, some known as Provincial Reconnaissance Units (PRU). [Sheehan, N. (1988). “A Bright Shining Lie.” NY: Random House, p. 732]. As many as 87,000 Vietnamese were neutralized – imprisoned, tortured, murdered, or converted. [Prados, J. (1996). “President’s Secret Wars.” Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, p. 309].
US ORIGINS In Genocide/Extermination:
But this policy of eliminating people, whether in the form of genocide of whole peoples, or of key individuals who possessed followers, when they are perceived in the way of White Man’s “progress” – prosperity for the few through expansion at any cost – has been the guiding cultural ethos of USAmerica since our origins.
Starting in 1600s:
The British arrived in Jamestown, VA in 1607. A policy of intentional extermination of the native population began almost immediately. “Hundreds of Indians were killed in skirmish after skirmish. Other hundreds were killed in successful plots of mass poisoning. They were hunted down by dogs, ‘blood-Hounds to draw after them, and Mastives to seize them.’ Their canoes and fishing weirs were smashed, their villages and agricultural fields burned to the ground. Indian peace offers were accepted by the English only until their prisoners were returned; then, having lulled the natives into false security, the colonists returned to the attack. It was the colonists’ expressed desire that the Indians be exterminated, rooted ‘out from being longer a people upon the face of the Earth.’ In a single raid the settlers destroyed corn sufficient to feed four thousand people for a year. Starvation and the massacre of non-combatants was becoming the preferred British approach to dealing with the natives.” [Stannard, D. E. (1992). “American Holocaust: The Conquest of the New World.” NY: Oxford University Press, p. 106].
Long before Thomas Jefferson’s desire to “exterminate” the Indians, and George Washington had said that Indians were “wolves and beasts” who deserved nothing from the whites but total ruin, the MASSACHUSETTS BAY COLONY in 1630 made it illegal to “shoot off a gun in any unnecessary occasion, or at any game EXCEPT an Indian or a wolf.” [Stannard, D. E. (1992). “American Holocaust: The Conquest of the New World.” NY: Oxford University Press, pp. 240-41].
In 1812, Thomas Jefferson, now a senior sage out of office, concluded that White Americans were “obliged” to drive the “backward” Indians” with the beasts of the forests into the Stony Mountains”; in 1813 Jefferson stated that the American government had no other choice before it than “to pursue [the Indians] to extermination, or drive them to new seats beyond our reach.” In other words, the Native Americans are to be given the choice “to be extirpated from the earth” or to remove themselves out of the White Americans way. Thus, to the majority of White Americans the choice for Indians was one of expulsion or extermination. [Stannard, D. E. (1992). “American Holocaust: The Conquest of the New World.” NY: Oxford University Press, p. 120].
Extermination was officially promoted by a “scalp bounty” on dead Indians. “Indeed, in many areas it [Indian-killing] became an outright business.”
Thomas Jefferson, writing to his Secretary of War in 1807, instructed that any native resistance to U.S. expansion into their territories should be overcome militarily, with the object that the Indians be “exterminated, or driven beyond the Mississippi.” This was sound policy, he claimed, because “in war, they [Indians] will kill some of us; we shall destroy all of them.” [Churchill, W. (1997). “A Little Matter of Genocide: Holocaust and Denial in the Americas, 1492 to the Present.” San Francisco: City Light Books, pp. 150, 181-182].
Washington’s Orders to Sullivan:
Continental Army Supreme General George Washington’s orders to General Sullivan in 1779 during the Revolutionary War made it clear he wanted the Iroquois threat completely eliminated:
Orders of George Washington to General John Sullivan, at Head-Quarters May 31, 1779:
“The Expedition you are appointed to command is to be directed against the hostile tribes of the Six Nations of Indians, with their associates and adherents. The immediate objects are the total destruction and devastation of their settlements, and the capture of as many prisoners of every age and sex as possible. It will be essential to ruin their crops now in the ground and prevent their planting more.
I would recommend, that some post in the center of the Indian Country, should be occupied with all expedition, with a sufficient quantity of provisions whence parties should be detached to lay waste all the settlements around, with instructions to do it in the most effectual manner, that the country may not be merely overrun, but destroyed.
But you will not by any means listen to any overture of peace before the total ruinment of their settlements is effected. Our future security will be in their inability to injure us and in the terror with which the severity of the chastisement they receive will inspire them.”
[Writings of George Washington. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, XV, pp. 189-93; Drinnon, R. (1980). Facing West: The Metaphysics of Indian-Hating and Empire-Building. Minneapolis: Univ. of Minnesota Press, p. 331].
US Historical Operating Principles (several of which are explicit in George Washington’s orders):
1. Total War, civilians and combatants alike considered legitimate targets
2. Preventing/Not Wanting Peace
3. Preventive and Pre-emptive War
S. BRIAN WILLSON is a prominent peace and social change activist. He blogs at S. BRIAN WILLSON.com, which “contains essays describing the incredible historic pattern of U.S. arrogance, ethnocentrism, violence and lawlessness in domestic and global affairs, and the severe danger this pattern poses for the future health of Homo sapiens and Mother Earth. Other essays discuss revolutionary, nonviolent alternative approaches based on the principle of radical relational mutuality. This is a term increasingly used by physicists, mathematicians and cosmologists to describe the nature of the omnicentric*, ever-unfolding universe. Every being, every aspect of life energy in the cosmos, is intrinsically interconnected with and affects every other being and aspect of life energy at every moment.”