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Who Killed MLK? The Mob Did It

On 04 April 2018 the world marked the 50th anniversary of the assassination of legendary Black leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The Federal Bureau of Investigation started wiretapping Dr. King after he delivered his iconic, "I have a dream" speech. The agency labeled him, "The most dangerous Negro of the future in this nation from the standpoint of Communism, the Negro and national security."

"His fundamental commitment is to a radical love of humanity, and especially of poor and working people. And that radical love leads him to a radical analysis of power, domination, and oppression," Cornell West, a prominent U.S. philosopher, and scholar said in a 2015 interview with the Chicago Tribune. West edited "The Radical King," a collection of excerpts from King's speeches and other writings that shed light on King's ideas and philosophies.

"It's clear that he was incredibly courageous in his critique of white supremacy, wealth inequality, and imperial power as it relates to the war in particular. But it's easy to deodorize Martin King, to sanitize or sterilize him," the renowned scholar told Tribune's, Kevin Nance. "The radical King was a democratic socialist who sided with poor and working people in the class struggle taking place in capitalist societies."

"The response of the radical King to our catastrophic moment can be put in one word: revolution—a revolution in our priorities, a reevaluation of our values, a reinvigoration of our public life, and a fundamental transformation of our way of thinking and living that promotes a transfer of power from oligarchs and plutocrats to everyday people and ordinary citizens. . . " West said.

"We are tired of smothering in an air-tight cage of poverty in the midst of an affluent society. We are tired of walking up the streets in search for jobs that do not exist. We are tired of working our hands off and laboring every day and not even making a wage adequate with daily basic necessities of life. We are tired of our men being emasculated so that our wives and our daughters have to go out and work in the white ladies’ kitchens, cleaning up, unable to be with our children, to give them the time and the attention that they need. We are tired," King wrote in his "Letter From Birmingham Jail".

In 1969, James Earl Ray pled guilty to murdering Dr. King. Since his arrest two months after the the murder of Dr. King on April 4, 1968, until his death in 1998, Ray gave numerous accounts of the assassination. After entering his plea and until his death, Ray maintained that he did not shoot Dr. King, was not at the rooming house when the fatal shot was fired, had no prior knowledge of the assassination, and was framed by a man he knew only as Raoul. Over the course of 25 years, James Earl Ray, those representing him, and others specifically identified as many as 20 different persons to be Raoul. Each time evidence demonstrated that a specific individual was not Raoul, another potential suspect has surfaced. More than three decades after the assassination, there was no plausible theory as to who Raoul might be. In addition, there is no credible evidence to verify that Raoul ever existed.

James Earl Ray was an experienced criminal. The FBI and Justice Department investigation developed a general consensus that Ray was a loner who was motivated in the assassination primarily by a combination of apparent hatred for the civil rights movement; his possible yearning for recognition, and a desire for a potential quick profit. But the murder did not stem from racism alone, and the evidence that Ray was motivated in the assassination by a pressing need for recognition was not substantial. The Select Committee on Assassinations found substantial evidence that Ray might have been lured by the prospect of money. This conclusion necessarily raised the possibility of conspiracy.

The purpose of Ray's abrupt trip to New Orleans in December 1967 could not be determined, although the Select Committee found it likely that Ray met secretly with another associate in New Orleans. The secretive nature of that meeting was a significant, if not sinister, indication that Ray's purpose in going to New Orleans was to attend one brief but important meeting. Ray claimed to have met with Raoul during his December 1967 visit to New Orleans. But separate witness statements indicate Ray met with a brother in New Orleans.

The Select Committee on Assassinations believed that Ray's post-assassination tale of Raoul was fabricated to conceal contacts with one or both brothers. The Select Committee on Assassinations investigation of the St. Louis conspiracy "proved frustrating. Only circumstantial evidence was developed."

"Legacy of Secrecy: The Long Shadow of the JFK Assassination" by Lamar Waldron with Thom Hartmann, claims that Carlos Marcello brokered a deal in which White supremacist Joseph A. Milteer paid James Earl Ray to kill Martin Luther King Jr. It also finds that Marcello's biographer, John H. Davis, and journalist David E. Scheim made "compelling cases" for Marcello's involvement in the killing of Robert Kennedy.

Thomas L. Jones writes that New Orleans mob boss "Carlos Marcello was a fervent racist. He despised blacks and vehemently opposed the civil rights movement during the 1960's. He openly expressed his hatred of Dr. Martin Luther King and his white knight, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy. Known to be a supporter of the Ku Klux Klan, Carlos was a generous financial supporter of anti-civil rights movements."

In 1993, Loyd Jowers, a former Memphis tavern owner, claimed that he participated in a conspiracy to kill Dr. King, along with an alleged Mafia figure, Memphis police officers, and a man named Raoul. In 1993, Lloyd Jowers went on the Prime Time Live television show and stated that he hired the killer of Dr. King as a favor to New Orleans mob boss Carlo Marcello. In King v. Jowers, a civil suit in a Tennessee state court, a jury returned a verdict in December 1999 finding that Jowers and unnamed others, including unspecified government agencies, participated in a conspiracy to assassinate Dr. King. The trial featured a substantial amount of hearsay evidence purporting to support the existence of various far-ranging, government-directed conspiracies to kill Dr. King. Witness testimony and writings related secondhand or thirdhand accounts of unrelated, and in some cases, contradictory conspiracy claims. Jowers contradicted himself on virtually every key point about the alleged conspiracy. Jowers' story was the product of a carefully orchestrated promotional effort.



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Page last modified: 03-04-2018 13:26:05 ZULU