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Tag: MLK

Happy MLK Day From ticklethewire.com

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FBI Tried to Stop Martin Luther King Jr. from Delivering College Commencement in 1964

stanford.edu photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Just days after Martin Luther King Jr. was invited to speak at Springfield College’s commencement in 1964, the FBI tried to get the school to cancel speech, the Atlantic reports in an account detailing new questionable tactics against the civil rights icon.

At the time, King had been the subject of extraordinary wiretapping at his home, office and hotel rooms where he stayed. Agents used those wiretaps to urge the college to cancel King’s commencement address.

FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover was obsessed with discrediting King at the time.

In mid-June, King delivered his speech and spoke about segregation, pacifism and morality.

New FBI Agents Will Be Required to Visit Martin Luther King Memorial

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

New FBI agents are already required to tour the Holocaust Museum.

FBI Director James Comey is adding another required visit in Washington D.C. – the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, the USA Today reports.

“I think it will serve as a different kind of reminder — one more personal to the bureau — of the need for fidelity to the rule of law and the dangers in becoming untethered to oversight and accountability,” Comey said.

The move marks quite a departure from the bureau’s attitude toward King prior to his 1968 assassination.

The FBI conducted secret surveillance of the civil rights figure in an effort to discredit him.

The requirement to visit the Holocaust Museum has been in place since the late 1990s.

Comey said the MLK memorial tour will remind agents that “we will be judged not only on whether we succeed in defeating crime and terrorism, (but) on whether we do so while safeguarding the liberties for which we are fighting.”

New FBI Agents, Analysts Required to Visit MLK Monument in Washington

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

All new FBI agents and analysts must visit the monument for the late civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., new FBI Director James Comey said Monday, Reuters reports.

The idea, he said, is to remind people of the African American struggles for equality.

For similar reasons, new agents and analysts also are required to visit the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Both monuments are in Washington D.C.

“It will serve as a different kind of lesson – one more personal to the bureau – of the dangers of becoming untethered to oversight and accountability,” Comey said.

Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘Dream’ Speech Prompted FBI to Launch Spying Campaign

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

While Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech inspired African Americans in 1963, the FBI was worrying aloud whether the civil rights leader was gaining too much influence and popularity, Bloomberg reports.

Two months after the speech, then-Attorney General Robert Kennedy approved a campaign to spy on King in an attempt to smear his reputation.

“The FBI’s program to destroy Dr. King as the leader of the civil rights movement entailed efforts to discredit him with churches, universities and the press,” read a 1976 U.S. Senate report nicknamed, “Church Committee.”

The urgency was clear, Bloomberg reported.

“Personally, I believe in the light of King’s powerful, demagogic speech” that “he stands head and shoulders over all other Negro leaders put together when it comes to influencing great masses,” said William Sullivan, head of the FBI’s domestic intelligence division during the King surveillance program. “We must mark him now, if we have not done so before, as the most dangerous Negro of the future in this Nation from the standpoint of communism, the Negro and national security.”

The campaign also included an investigation into “community influence on the Negro,” an Oct. 1, 1963 memo read.

“FBI officials viewed the speech as significantly increasing King’s national stature,” Pulitzer Prize winning historian David Garrow told Bloomberg. King was viewed as “measurably more ‘dangerous’ in the FBI’s view.

Newspaper to Examine FBI Treatment of Civil Rights Icons in 1960s

stanford.edu photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is releasing dozens of investigative files involving civil rights-era photographer Ernest Withers as part of a lawsuit with The Commercial Appeal of Memphis, Tenn., CNN reports.

Among the files is an investigation of Martin Luther King Jr. while in Memphis in 1968, CNN reported.

The bureau also examined the NAACP, Southern Christian Leadership Conference and peace and black power movements.

The files are expected to shed light on how deeply the FBI probed the lives of civil rights leaders.

The newspaper won the right to examine the records after reaching a settlement under the Freedom of Information Act.

Rat Poison and Shrapnel Found in Bomb at MLK Day Parade in Spokane


By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

More details are surfacing about the mysterious bomb that was found along the parade route of the MLK Day parade in Spokane, Wash. on Jan. 17.

CNN reports that the bomb contained rat poisoning and metal shrapnel, all designed to maximize damage.

The Spokesman-Review reported that the rat poison is used to prevent blood from coagulating. The bomb, contained in a Swiss Army-brand backpack, was found before the parade began.

Authorities have said that they suspect the incident may have been racially motivated. No arrests have been made.

A $20,000 reward is being offered in the case.

FBI Reports Provide Details on the Surging Threats to Congress Members

Sen. Debbie Stabenow/ sen. photo

Sen. Debbie Stabenow/ sen. photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A surge of threats have been pouring into our nation’s lawmakers, and the FBI provided details to Politico.

One threat involved a voice mail message in February 2009 to Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mi.) , according to Politico:

“We’re gonna [expletive] get you,” the man said. “We’re gonna get you with a lot of [expletive] bolt action. Like we did RFK; like we did MLK. We know who you are. We’ll get you.”

Politico reported that Senate Sergeant at Arms Terrance Gainer said threats against Capitol Hill lawmakers were up 300 percent in the first few months of 2010.

Politico received details of threats through a Freedom of Information Act Request to the FBI.

To read more click here.