The corporate media whores did not breathe a word of this, I think, so it is right that we should educate ourselves and share the facts with others.
The story of Martin Luther King's assassination, and the 1999 trial where the truth of this event was finally revealed in a court of law is now encapsulated in Dr. William F. Pepper's new book, released by Verso this month [Feb. 2003, I think]: An Act of State - The Execution of Martin Luther King. The dust jacket summarizes what many have intuitively known for more than thirty years:
"William Pepper, attorney and friend of Dr. King and the King family, became convinced after years of investigation that not only was Ray not the shooter, but that King had been targeted as part of a larger conspiracy to stop the anti-war movement, and to prevent King from gaining momentum in his promising Poor People's Campaign. Ten years into his investigation, in 1988, Pepper agreed to represent Ray. While he was never able to successfully appeal the sentence before Ray's death, he was able to build an air-tight case against the real perpetrators. In 1999, Loyd Jowers and co-conspirators were brought to trial in a wrongful death civil action suit on behalf of the King family. Seventy witnesses set out the details of the conspiracy in a plot to murder King that involved J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI, Richard Helms and the CIA, the military, the local Memphis police, and organized crime figures from New Orleans and Memphis. The evidence was unimpeachable. The jury took an hour to find for th
e King family. But the silence following these shocking revelations was deafening. Like the pattern during all the investigations of the assassination throughout the years, no major media outlet would cover the story. It was effectively buried.
"Until now, the details, evidence, and personalities of all these nefarious characters have gone unreported. In An Act of State, you finally have the truth before you -- how the United States government effectively shut down one of the most galvanizing movements for social change by stopping its leader dead in his tracks."
In his closing remarks on the last day of the trial, Dr. Pepper touched upon the underlying dynamics of what created the circumstances of Dr. King's execution:
Martin King, as you know, for many years was a Baptist preacher in the southern part of this country, and he was thrust into leadership of the civil rights movement at a historic moment in the civil rights movement and social change movement in this part of the country. That's where he was. That's where he has been locked in time, locked in a media image, locked as an icon in the brains of the people of this country.
But Martin King had moved well beyond that. When he was awarded the Noble Peace Prize he became in the mid-1960's an international figure, a person of serious stature whose voice, his opinions, on other issues than just the plight of black people in the South became very significant world-wide. He commanded world-wide attention as few had before him. As a successor, if you will, to Mahatmas Gandhi in terms of the movement for social change through civil disobedience. So that's where he was moving. Then in 1967, April 4, 1967, one year to the day before he was killed, he delivered the momentous speech at Riverside Church in New York where he opposed the war.
Now, he thought carefully about this war. . . . I remember vividly, I was a journalist in Vietnam, when I came back he asked to meet with me, and when I opened my files to him, which were devastating in terms of the effects upon the civilian population of that country, he unashamedly wept.
I knew at that point really that the die was cast. This was in February of 1967. He was definitely going to oppose that war with every strength, every fiber in his body. And he did so. He opposed it. And from the date of the Riverside speech to the date he was killed, he never wavered in that opposition. Now, what does that mean? Is he an enemy of the State? The State regarded him as an enemy because he opposed it. But what does it really mean, his opposition? I put it to you that his opposition to that war had little to do with ideology, with capitalism, with democracy. It had to do with money. It had to do with huge amounts of money that that war was generating to large multinational corporations that were based in the United States . . .
When Martin King opposed the war, when he rallied people to oppose the war, he was threatening the bottom lines of some of the largest defense contractors in this country. This was about money. When he threatened to bring that war to a close through massive popular opposition, he was threatening the bottom lines of some of the largest construction companies, one of which was in the State of Texas, that patronized the Presidency of Lyndon Johnson and had the major construction contracts at Cam Ran Bay in Vietnam. This is what Martin King was challenging. He was challenging the weapons industry, the hardware, the armament industries, that all would lose as a result of the end of the war. . . .
Now, he begin to talk about a redistribution of wealth, in this the wealthiest country in the world that had such a large group of poor people, of people living then and now, by the way, in poverty. That problem had to be addressed. And it wasn't a black-and-white problem. This was a problem that dealt with Hispanics, and it dealt with poor whites as well. That is what he was taking on. That's what he was challenging.
The powers in this land believed he would not be successful. Why did they believe that? They believed that because they knew that the decision-making processes in the United States had by that point in time, and today it is much worse in my view, but by that point in time had so consolidated power that they were the representatives, the foot soldiers, of the . . . very economic interests who were going to suffer as a result of these times of changes. So the very powerful lobbying forces that put their people in the halls of Congress and indeed in the White House itself and controlled them, paid and bought them and controlled them, were certainly not going to agree to the type of social legislation that Martin King and his mass of humanity were going to require.
On the King Center website, a draft from Pepper's new book, describes the role played by the media from the testimony of William Schapp, attorney, military and intelligence specialization, and co-publisher Covert Action Quarterly. The culpability of the commercial media uniformly burying this Crime Of The Century story is the most evident indicator of the true interests served by the U.S. corporate press.
Half a day was occupied with the testimony of Attorney William Schapp, who we qualified as an expert on government use of the media for disinformation and propaganda purposes. . . .
Schapp revealed that the [central intelligence] agency alone -- not to mention its counterparts in the rest of the American intelligence community -- owned or controlled some 2,500 media entities all over the world. In addition, it has its people ranging from stringers to highly visible journalists and editors in virtually every major media organization. As we have seen and were indeed experiencing every day of the trial, this inevitably results in the suppression or distortion of sensitive stories and the planting and dissemination of disinformation.
Considering all of the aspects of the cover up in this case, the ongoing media role is the most sinister precisely because it, if not powerfully controverted, as was done with the trial, perpetuates the lies and disinformation from one generation to the next, for all time.
Writing in an April 7 2002 letter to John Judge, Dr. Pepper explained further details of the manner in which disinformation serves to distract people from making the connections that lie at the heart of Dr. King's assassination. Note that the 7,000 (at its peak) protesters who lived in Resurrection City between mid-April and 19 June 1968 comprised less than 2 percent of the 500,000 people Martin King was committed to bringing to Washington that Spring . . .
Note:If you should find, as I have over a period of some days, that the King Center is not accessable on the web, then use this link:
The whole site (or much of it) is archived there and you can click on pages as if you were visiting the site itself. That is where I found the transcript of the 1999 trial mentioned (click on the left for "News & Information"). Not many people have the time to read the transcript of a trial that lasted a month, but the closing remarks at the end of the transcriptl give an accurate summary of the proceedings.
The text above is copied from a different website:
It is better formatted there with many hyperlinks, including one to the closing remarks of the trial. Above is only a portion of the valuable text.