Martin Luther King Jr & the FBI
The FBI has a long history of persecuting people for having the wrong political ideas. J. Edgar Hoover was the Bureau’s first director and he served in that post for almost 50 years. He ran the FBI as an unchallenged lord of the manor and his agents were serfs to do his bidding. Hoover had a particular animosity for and loathing of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Nobel Peace Prize-winner and leader of the Civil Rights movement. He called King “the most notorious liar in the country.” Using infiltrators, the spread of rumors, fabrication of evidence, and media manipulation, the FBI launched a full-scale smear campaign to discredit Dr. King and the movement he led. It was all done of course in the name of “national security.” April 4th, 2008 marks the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Jules Boykoff is professor of political science at Pacific University. Before embarking on an academic career he represented the U.S. Olympic Soccer Team in international competition. His articles have appeared in The Guardian and The New York Times. He is the author of The Suppression of Dissent, Celebration Capitalism, and Activism and the Olympics.