Our guest will be Professor Robert Chase. author of “We Are Not Slaves’ State Violence, Coerced Labor, and Prisoners’ Rights in Postwar America”.
BTR News – April 4th was the anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr who was assassinated as he stood on the second-floor balcony of The Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee.
James Earl Ray, the man convicted of assassinating King always maintained his innocence and members of the King family supported his efforts to get a new trial.
In 1999, Coretta Scott King won a wrongful death claim against a man named Loyd Jowers and “other unknown co-conspirators.” Jowers claimed to have received $100,000 to arrange King’s assassination. The jury found in favor of the King family, finding Jowers to be complicit in a conspiracy against King and that government agencies were party to the assassination.
In 2004, Jesse Jackson stated, “The 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.
In 1971, the FBI secret counterintelligence program was put under scrutiny by the Senate’s Church Committee hearings. For over 20 years, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover issued directives governing COINTELPRO, ordering FBI agents to “expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, neutralize or otherwise eliminate” the activities of these movements and especially their leaders. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy personally authorized some of the programs.
The United States government has never held a truth and reconciliation like was seen in South Africa after the fall of the apartheid government and it has resisted efforts to do so. The Truth is, Dr. King was right when he said the United States is the greater purveyor of violence in the world and it remains so to this day.
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