January 22, 2008 at 2:06 am #27131
-We are still in a time when we can no longer look away, or talk philosophical about peace, acceptance, or joy. So I am glad to be practicing peace,acceptance, and joy with y’all.
This speech I can not begin to explain how still right on it is.January 22, 2008 at 5:25 am #27132
Note: in case you were not fully aware of the controversy surrounding his death, read these articles. Good reason to doubt “your senses” ,i.e. what you hear/see/read in the media. The media only announces what the culture allows it to. – Michael
AN ACT OF STATE: THE EXECUTION OF MARTIN LUTHER KING
By William F. Pepper
Verso (January 2003)
“Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also
internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you
refuse to hate him.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.
Jenifer Morgan Writes:
In light of Dr. King’s prophetic message and in the spirit of “truth and
reconciliation” let’s also consider these words of Coretta Scott King from
her endorsement of William Pepper’s “An Act of State: The Execution of
Martin Luther King”:
“For a quarter of a century, Bill Pepper conducted an independent
investigation of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. He opened his
files to our family, encouraged us to speak with the witnesses, and
represented our family in the civil trial against the conspirators. The jury
affirmed his findings, providing our family with a long-sought sense of
closure and peace, which had been denied by official disinformation and
cover-ups. Now the findings of his exhaustive investigation and additional
revelations from the trial are presented in the pages of this important
book. We recommend it highly to everyone who seeks the truth about Dr.
During the 1999 trial described in the book, seventy witnesses set out the
details of a 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 the 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
In An Act of State, the truth is finally told — how the United States
government targeted Dr. King as part of a larger conspiracy by the
government to stop the anti-war movement and to prevent King from gaining
momentum in his Poor People’s Campaign. By killing Dr. King, they
effectively shut down this powerful movement for social change.
In a nutshell, the scenario documented at the trial:
On April 4, 1968, Dr. King was in Memphis supporting a workers’ strike. By
the end of the day, top-level army snipers were in position to knock him out
if ordered. Two military officers were in place on the roof of a fire
station near the Lorraine Motel, to photograph the events. Two black firemen
had been ordered not to report to duty that day and a black Memphis Police
Department detective on surveillance duty in the fire station was physically
removed from his post and taken home. Dr. King’s room at the motel was
changed from a secluded ground-floor room to number 306 on the balcony. Loyd
Jowers, owner of Jim’s Grill which backed onto the motel from the other side
of the street had already received $100,000 in cash for his agreement to
participate in the assassination. He was to go out into the brush area
behind the grill with the shooter and take possession of the gun immediately
after the fatal shot was fired. When the dust settled, King had been hit,
and a clean-up procedure was immediately set in motion. James Earl Ray was
effectively framed, the snipers dispersed, any witnesses who could not be
controlled were killed, and the crime scene was destroyed.
FROM PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
Forget everything you think you know, Pepper insists. James Earl Ray did not
pull the trigger. The journalist-turned-lawyer’s previous title, Orders to
Kill: The Truth Behind the Murder of Martin Luther King Jr., was more a
prelude to this title than the final word. Twenty years after James Earl Ray
was convicted, Pepper set out to clear him; in the process, he brought to
light reams of evidence that were ignored in the original trial. The key to
his case is Loyd Jowers, a bar owner who claims to have disposed of the
murder weapon at the request of a local mob figure. Partially on the
strength of the Orders to Kill material, Pepper won the support of King’s
wife and children, who brought Jowers and “unknown co-conspirators” to trial
in a civil wrongful death suit in 1999. Dozens of witnesses contributed to a
forceful, detailed case that accused the FBI, the CIA, the U.S. military,
the Memphis police, and local and national organized crime leaders. After
only an hour of deliberation, the jury found for the King family. The
accusers, led by Pepper, cried vindication and fully expected to be at the
center of one of the biggest news stories of the century. But the trial and
the verdict barely registered in the media. Appalled by the silence that
followed, Pepper remained determined to bring the details of his exhaustive
probe and subsequent civil case to the public, and the result is this
exacting book, dense with evidence and analysis of the murder. Pepper sets
the tone by recalling the state of civil unrest in this country during the
late 1960s and why King’s radical activism was such a threat to government
and corporate leaders. Simply put, Pepper claims those in power were scared
to death of the mass mobilization King’s Poor People’s Campaign might have
inspired. Pepper gradually introduces the vast cast of characters in a
dizzying murder conspiracy that winds from a Memphis bar through the shadows
of organized crime to the far reaches of national government. He carefully
maps each player’s place and role in the tangled web and doggedly tries to
stick to a straightforward narrative. The number of unanswered questions
complicates those efforts, but does not cloud the evidence that Ray was not
the shooter. Pepper attempts nothing less than a rewrite of history, and a
spurring of further investigation. While his moralizing epilogue on the
deterioration of democracy is distracting, it is heartfelt, and honors
Pepper’s commitment to King’s legacy.
WIKIPEDIA ON MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.
ALLEGATIONS OF CONSPIRACY
Some have speculated that Ray had been used as a “patsy” similar to the way
that alleged John F. Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald was supposed to have
been. Some of the claims used to support this assertion are:
* Ray’s confession was given under pressure, and he had been threatened with
* Ray was a thief and burglar and had no record of committing violent crimes
with a weapon.
Many suspecting a conspiracy in the assassination point out the two separate
ballistic tests conducted on the Remington Gamemaster had neither
conclusively proved Ray had been the killer nor that it had even been the
murder weapon. Moreover, witnesses surrounding King at the moment of his
death say the shot came from another location, from behind thick shrubbery
near the rooming house, and not from the rooming house shrubbery (which had
been inexplicably cut away in the days following the assassination).
In 1997, Martin Luther King’s son Dexter King met with Ray, and publicly
supported Ray’s efforts to obtain a retrial.
In 1999, Coretta Scott King, King’s widow, along with the rest of King’s
family, won a wrongful death civil trial against Loyd Jowers and “other
unknown co-conspirators”. Jowers claimed to have received $100,000 to
arrange King’s assassination. The jury of six whites and six blacks found
Jowers guilty and that “governmental agencies were parties” to the
assassination plot. William F. Pepper represented the King family in the
King biographer David Garrow disagrees with William F. Pepper’s claims that
the government killed King. He is supported by King assassination author
In 2000, the Department of Justice completed the investigation about Jowers’
claims but did not find evidence to support the allegations about
conspiracy. The investigation report recommends no further investigation
unless some new reliable facts are presented.
On April 6, 2002, the New York Times reported a church minister, Rev. Ronald
Denton Wilson, claimed his father, Henry Clay Wilson — not James Earl Ray
— assassinated Martin Luther King Jr. He stated, “It wasn’t a racist thing;
he thought Martin Luther King was connected with communism, and he wanted to
get him out of the way.”
In 2004, Jesse Jackson, who was with King at the time of his death, noted:
³The fact is there were saboteurs to disrupt the march. [And] within our own
organization, we found a very key person who was on the government payroll.
So infiltration within, saboteurs from without and the press attacks. I
will never believe that James Earl Ray had the motive, the money and the
mobility to have done it himself. Our government was very involved in
setting the stage for and I think the escape route for James Earl Ray.
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