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April 4, 1967 and April 4, 1968
It's good to remember that MLK spoke about imperialism and economic injustice, not only civil rights, but it's also important to remember that this connecting of dots is what got him killed.  How many "progressives" know that the King family won a federal lawsuit they filed (in 1999) against the Federal, State and local governments (in Memphis) for the assassination?   How many peace advocates who treasure King's April 4, 1967 speech against the war on Viet Nam know that King's declaration against that war was partially inspired by William Pepper, who was a journalist in Viet Nam who showed King graphic details of the atrocities there.   Pepper was later asked by the King family to investigate the truth of the assassination, and then became the attorney for James Earl Ray in his (unsuccessful) effort to get a trial to prove his innocence, something the family came to understand was the painful truth.   This is not a conspiracy "theory," this is part of the actual, inconvenient history of our country.
Here's a short background about this hidden history:


"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. King's assassination."
-- Coretta Scott King

“Dr Pepper, a trusted associate of my father in the anti-war movement and a dedicated follower of his teaching, has conducted exhaustive research and shed new light on all of the critical questions including the extent of the involvement of government intelligence agenices, military units and organized crime in the assassination, the motives behind it, and the individuals who ordered and participated in it.”   
-- Dexter King

An Act of State: 
the execution of Martin Luther King, Jr.
by William Pepper


William Pepper was a young journalist, just back from Vietnam, when he first met Martin Luther King Jr. His photographs and first-hand accounts of the war prompted King’s unflinching commitment to oppose it ....
On April 4 1968, Martin Luther King was in Memphis supporting a workers' strike. By nightfall, army snipers were in position, military officers were on a nearby roof with cameras, and Lloyd Jowers had been paid to remove the gun after the fatal shot was fired. When the dust had settled, King had been hit and a clean-up operation was set in motion-James Earl Ray was framed, the crime scene was destroyed, and witnesses were killed. William Pepper, attorney and friend of King, has conducted a thirty-year investigation into his assassination. In 1999, Loyd Jowers and other co-conspirators were brought to trial in a civil action suit on behalf of the King family. Seventy witnesses set out the details of a conspiracy that involved J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI, Richard Helms and the CIA, the military, Memphis police, and organized crime. The jury took an hour to find for the King family. In An Act of State, you finally have the truth before you-how the US government shut down a movement for social change by stopping its leader dead in his tracks.

In 1977 the family of Martin Luther King engaged an attorney and friend, Dr. William Pepper, to investigate a suspicion they had. They no longer believed that James Earl Ray was the killer. For their peace of mind, for an accurate record of history, and out of a sense of justice they conducted a two decade long investigation. The evidence they uncovered was put before a jury in Memphis, TN, in November 1999. 70 witnesses testified under oath, 4,000 pages of transcripts described that evidence, much of it new. It took the jury 59 minutes to come back with their decision that exonerated James Earl Ray, who had already died in prison. The jury found that Lloyd Jowers, owner of Jim’s Grill, had participated in a conspiracy to kill King. The evidence showed that the conspiracy included J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI, Richard Helms and the CIA, the military, the Memphis police department, and organized crime.

for further reading:

The Martin Luther King Conspiracy Exposed in Memphis, May-June 2000
by Jim Douglass (the only writer to attend the entire federal trial of the King family vs. the Federal government)

Martin Luther King: a martyr for peace

Coalition on Political Assassinations

review of "An Act of State"

"After the American University address, John Kennedy and Nikita Krushchev began to act like competitors in peace.  They were both turning.  However, Kennedy's rejection of Cold War politics was considered treasonous by forces in his own government.  In that context, which Kennedy knew well, the American University address was a profile in courage with lethal consequences.  President Kennedy's June 10, 1963 call for an end to the Cold War, five and one-half months before his assassination, anticipates Dr. King's courage in his April 4, 1967, Riverside Church address calling for an end to the Vietnam War, exactly one year before his assassination.  Each of those transforming speeches was a prophetic statement provoking the reward a prophet traditionally receives.  John Kennedy's American University address was to his death in Dallas as Martin Luther King's Riverside Church address was to his death in Memphis."
-- James Douglass, “JFK and the Unspeakable: why he died and why it matters”
read a review and an excerpt at www.oilempire.us/jfk-unspeakable.html
Democracy Now's shameful coverage today (April 4, 2012)
J. Edgar Hoover vs. Martin Luther King, Jr.: Book Exposes FBI’s Targeting of the Civil Rights Leader
Today marks the 44th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on April 4, 1968, at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. At the time, his every move was being tracked by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. We speak with journalist Tim Weiner, author of "Enemies: A History of the FBI," about the fanatical zeal with which the agency pursued the civil rights leader and peace activist. FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover saw King as a Communist. He ordered agents to wiretap and spy on his hotel rooms and his private home. Weiner describes how the FBI also pushed newspapers to publish sordid details about King’s relations with women other than his wife just before he won the Nobel Peace Prize. [includes rush transcript]
Comment:   For the uninformed listener or reader of the Democracy Now website, this story seems to be another great expose of official abuse.   The harassment of Dr. King by the FBI is mentioned and J. Edgar Hoover is said to be an enemy of civil rights.  However, there was no hint that the harassment included the assassination, as detailed in the King family's lawsuit against the government.   To their credit, Democracy Now did have a story that covered the 1999 jury verdict but that story has disappeared down the Orwellian "memory hole," without subsequent reminders.   There is no link on today's DN webpage to their 1999 story about a jury agreeing with the King family that the government killed MLK.   Instead, one of the "experts" cited during today's coverage is Gerald Posner, who has made a career of denying official involvement in the murders of President Kennedy and Martin Luther King.   It is sad to see Democracy Now take essentially the same position today as CBS (See BS?), ABC, Washington Post and Fox News, even if they wrap the core of the story with some modest critique of the FBI and its long dead director (Hoover) to make it more palatable.  It is a classic example of a "limited hang out" -- unveiling part of the truth (the FBI harassed MLK) in a way that keeps the full truth covered up (the government killed King).
December 13, 1999
Jury Rules King Assassination a Conspiracy
It would be nice for Democracy Now to remind its viewers and readers about this story by including  a link every time MLK's legacy is discussed.  Perhaps they could do some shows about why most liberal / progressive / leftist groups and media do not discuss the political impact of the assassinations of the 1960s -- JFK, Malcolm X, MLK, RFK, etc.   

Begin forwarded message:

Date: April 2, 2012 11:34 PM : Apr 2
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Subject: Who Killed Dr. King? Free the Files, Find the Truth - April 4, MLK Memorial 9 am - 9 pm

We will hold our day-long vigil at the new Martin Luther King Memorial in Washington, DC on the 44th anniversary of his assassination, with banners and a handout calling for full release of classified records on the life and death of Dr. King. You are welcome to join us if you live near DC. We will be on the Main Street entrance most of the day and evening and should be visible from the street. We have a Parks Department permit for the event. I am attaching our handout flyer in case you want to make copies and use them where you live in some public place to start the discussion on April 4th. We are busy making plans for Dallas this year and next and a possible Occupy the Grassy Knoll in 2013. Keep up with new revelations and our planned events at our website,www.politicalassassinations.org. John Judge

John Judge
Coalition on Political Assassinations (COPA)
PO Box 772
Washington, DC 20044

Check out our new website:

Annual meeting in Dallas in November
Hotel Lawrence -             214-761-9090       - discount room reservations
Speakers, films, books, resources, email for details

National organization of medical and ballistic experts, academics and authors, researchers and interested individuals investigating major political assassinations in America and abroad. Responsible for creation and implementation of the JFK Assassination Records Act. Promoting a Martin Luther King Records Act and a grand jury process to reopen all the major assassinations.

We are not allergic to donations, donations NOT tax deductible. DVD set of last year's COPA meeting in Dallas for any donation of $50 or more.
Who Killed Dr. King?
Free the Files, Find the Truth
Do We Forget His Death to Remember His Life?
February 21, 1965 – Malcolm X is assassinated at the Audubon Theater in Harlem. Just prior to his death he had met with Dr. King and discussed working together on the issues of poverty and war.

April 4, 1967 – Dr. King delivers an historic speech at the Riverside Church in New York City, expanding the issue of racial integration and civil rights to address three “pillars of oppression”, racism, poverty and militarism. He spoke out for the first time in public against the war in Vietnam and laid the groundwork for his call for a Poor People’s March. This put him squarely in the sights of the CIA, FBI and Army Intelligence as a dangerous militant. Both Malcolm X and Dr. King were targeted as “the threat of a Black Messiah” by these agencies.

April 4, 1968 – One year to the day later, Dr. King is slain by a single sniper’s bullet as he stands on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel, in Memphis, TN. Dr. King’s driver, Earl “Cornbread” Carter and Chauncey Eskridge (attorney for King and the SCLC), looking up at Dr. King, heard the shot zing right past their right ears. Documentary filmmaker Joseph Laue, standing down the balcony, saw King lift up off the balcony and spin to his right. These reactions are the opposite of what a shot from the rooming house to King’s right and well above him could have caused. The police did not search or focus on the rooming house for well over an hour after the shot. 
April 5, 1968 - The FBI, which did not immediately test to see if it had been fired on April 4th, conducted a ballistics test on the alleged murder rifle and results were inconclusive, meaning they could not say with certainty the fatal bullet was fired from the alleged murder rifle. Dr. Jerry  Francisco, Memphis medical examiner, who performed the autopsy on King, did not even trace the death bullet’s path inside King’s body. 
April 11-19, 1968 -Authorities announced they are looking for Eric Stavro Galt in connection with King’s murder. Galt, actually, is James Earl Ray, an escapee from the Missouri State Penitentiary.
June 8, 1968 - Ray is captured at London’s Heathrow Airport. Ray’s movements after the assassination suggest he had assistance from high-level, well-connected sources.
March 10, 1969 - Attorney Percy Foreman tells Ray he has not prepared a defense and threatens that Ray will get the electric chair unless he enters a guilty plea, Ray does and receives a 99-year sentence, immediately filing an appeal, wrongly paid for by Foreman.
March 31, 1969: Judge Preston Battle, who presided over Ray’s trial, dies from a heart attack, found inside his chambers with his head slumped down on a petition from Ray, dated March 13, 1969, asking for a new trial. Under Tennessee law Ray is “guaranteed” a new trial. Ray never receives his trial.
Critical books – Over the years, critical books appear on the case, demolishing the official story and flawed investigation. They include Frame Up by Harold Weissberg, Code Name Zorro by Mark Lane and Dick Gregory, and The Merkin Conspiracy andWho Killed MLK? by Phillip Melanson, PhD, Who Killed Martin Luther King? by James Earl Ray, Orders to Kill by Dr. William Pepper, Esq. and The COINTELPRO Papers - Ward Churchill.
1969 – 1997 - Ray consistently denies his guilt and files numerous appeals, usually with bad legal representation. Judge William Miller of the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati convinces other judges to remand. On re-appeal, Miller dies strangely of heart attack just before decision and his vote against Ray is "recorded posthumously".

1978 – The House Select Committee on Assassinations is created and conducts an investigation into both the JFK and King assassinations, While still blaming Ray, the HSCA concludes there was a "probable conspiracy,” and orders the Justice Department to reopen the investigation. The FBI and Justice Department stall. 
1992 – Congress passes the John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Act, and to date over 6.5 million classified pages are released, with a full and final release scheduled for 2017.
May 1997 - Dr. William Pepper, Esq., friend of Dr. King, reopens Ray’s appeal. Memphis Judge Joe Brown, a ballistics expert, tests the Remington and finds that the rifling marks on the test bullets do not conclusively match those on the bullet removed from Dr. King's body. At this point, he is removed from the case by the Tennessee Court of Appeals in for alleged "bias”.
April 23, 1998 - Ray dies in Memorial Hospital, in Madison, TN, and his appeal is moot.
December 13, 1999 – The King family hires Dr. Pepper to conduct a civil suit against Loyd Jowers, a self-confessed criminal involved in planning the crime. The jury rules Ray innocent and indicts a governmental conspiracy.
Recent critical books - The 13th Juror – official civil trial transcript, An Act of State by Dr. William Pepper and A Memoir of Injustice - Tamara Carter and Jerry Ray.
2001 –Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney drafts a Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Records Act. A later version of the bill is drafted during the next Congress, with 66 co-sponsors and a Senate companion bill, but fails to move by 2007 when McKinney leaves office.
2009 – On January 15th, the birthday holiday for Dr. King, both Senator John Kerry and Congressman John Lewis, sponsors of the previous bills, announce intentions to reintroduce the same MLK Records Act, but to date have not done so.
2011 – The Clerk of the House is approached, who has power based on a letter from the previous Clerk in 1978, to release the HSCA files on Dr. King, action still pending.
The Coalition on Political Assassinations is a national network of medical, ballistics and forensic experts, academics and authors, and independent researchers formed in 1994. We call for a full release of government records and investigations and for an independent legal review of the evidence of conspiracy in these unsolved murders.
Join Us at Upcoming COPA eventsJune 10, 2012 – “And We Are All Mortal” American University, Washington, DC. Commemorates JFK speech calling to end the Cold War. November 22-25, 2012 – Annual conference of COPA in Dallas, TX.November 22-24, 2013, 50th Anniversary JFK assassination, COPA conference in Dallas, TX. November 22, 2013 - Occupy the Grassy Knoll for a Moment of Silence.



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