It has never been a secret that FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover wanted Dr. Martin Luther King to disappear. Dr. King was under constant surveillance from law enforcement; the situation could have been titled ‘Martin Luther King vs. the FBI.’
When an activist group broke into an FBI office in Pennsylvania in 1971, they discovered a program labeled COINTELPRO. Its purpose was to leak false information about Dr. King and other anti-war individuals with the intention of discrediting them. It also revealed surveillance plans covering multiple protest leaders especially Dr. King. Dr. King had been assassinated three years earlier in1968. As early as 1963 Robert Kennedy had authorized wire taps on Dr. King’s home and office in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference at the request of Hoover.
Dr. King became the prime target of Hoover’s obsession. When it was announced in 1964 that Dr. King was being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in the Civil Rights Movement, an anonymous note was dispatched immediately.
The note stated that his extramarital affairs would be released to the public. It claimed to have been written by a black man who called Dr. King a hypocrite and a liar. It went so far as to say that he was not a clergyman and did not believe in God. It continued with a suggestion that Dr. King commit suicide by saying, ‘you know what you have to do.’ He was given 34 days to do the deed or he would be exposed as a fraud.
Robert Kennedy’s authorization for wiretapping Dr. King’s phones in 1963 was significant and would begin a process of illegal action which has grown beyond what was once believed possible. The excuse used by Hoover was that he believed a high-ranking member of Dr. King’s inner circle was a top level Communist agent. Today it’s terrorism.
Are you under surveillance by the NSA? Are your family, friends, or neighbors under suspicion? Thanks to the efforts of Edward Snowden we are now aware of the scope of our government’s efforts to spy on ordinary citizens. President Obama, leaders of Congress, and the Directors of the FBI and NSA all claim that the purpose of attaining information is to prevent terrorism. They claim it is necessary and in fact has allowed them to prevent multiple possible attacks within our nation. Can we believe them? Not for a minute.
Look back at Dr. King. Here was a man whose entire life was dedicated to the rights of all men. Did he have faults? He was a man. Had he committed or planned to commit acts of treason? Far from the truth.
Information gathered from our electronic devices can be used by the government for many illegal purposes, many of which benefit those who represent us in Washington. They are able to follow what we do in our daily lives; who our friends are; what movies we watch and what books we read. They know how we spend our leisure time and what we think about our jobs, families, friends and the government. They can basically read our minds.
How can this information be used against us? Programs can be initiated to control us through brainwashing tactics; election campaigns can be tailored to reach each demographic and claim to care about their most important issues. Knowledge is power, and our government has always sought power over the people. We see the results; power has corrupted those who are elected to care for us absolutely.
Repeal the Patriot Act; NOW!
By James Turnage